Sam Jones, James Ball
London Guardian 
October 25, 2013
The French and German governments have demanded talks with the US by the end of the year as the row over the spying activities of the US National Security  Agency intensifies.
Their calls follow reports that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had her phone monitored by the NSA  and reports that the agency eavesdropped on calls made by members of the French administration .
The revelations are threatening to create a major rift between the US and its European allies. The former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that such activities had to be curtailled. “There is no reason to spy on Angela Merkel . It’s a real scandal,” he said. “A new agreement is needed between the EU and the US; this cannot continue.
Others, however, were less shocked by recent reports. “I can’t believe anyone is terribly surprised,” Kurt Volker, a former US ambassador to Nato, told the same programme. Volker said every government tried to collect the best possible information, adding: “As a government official for many years I assumed that my cellphone and email account were susceptible to spying.”