Bilateral relations between Austria and Germany, two neighbouring countries, are at risk of being clouded by a new alleged case of mass espionage. Vienna has asked Berlin for explanations after two Austrian publications revealed that German foreign secret services (BND) would have investigated ministries, businesses, embassies and international agencies. Espionage would have occurred between 1999 and 2006, as revealed by Der Standard and Profil.
The Austrian chancellor, curator Sebastian Kurz, appeared on Saturday at a press conference with Austrian President, ecologist Alexander van der Bellen to ask for explanations. "Our desire is of course to know who was controlled, when surveillance ended and of course we want to be certain that it is over." "Something like this shouldn't happen between friendly states," Kurz added. President Van der Bellen insisted on same idea: "Spying on friendly countries is not only uncommon and undesirable, it is unacceptable." Van der Bellen asked Berlin for "complete clarifications".
Already in 2015, first information was leaked indicating that German services could have collaborated with Americans in espionage of Austrian objectives. Now, new revelations would point to a much larger extent than one known so far. The information that Austrian publications make available, speak of a list, in which it would appear detailed how some 2,000 emails, faxes and telephone conversations were intercepted. Espionage would have remained in addition for seven years.Monitored companies
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as Islamic organizations, banks, arms dealers, university professors, suspected terrorists or agencies of News would be among institutions concerned. Practically all large Austrian companies would have been also victims of espionage. Also some SMEs, specialized for example in production of aluminum or wood would be among objectives, which would aim, according to publications that have uncovered case to alleged economic espionage with which Germany would have tried to obtain Competitive advantage over neighboring entrepreneurs.
Der Standard also ensures that Germans shared some of that information with secret services from or countries like US. In 2016, Germany passed a law to reform functioning of external intelligence services (BND) after knowing espionage of American NSA and that would prevent type of practices that now denounce Austrian LSO.