A German political opposition leader has called for a complete halt to the ongoing European Union-United States trade negotiations, further indicating a breakdown between the two longstanding allies over spy-related issues. “I would interrupt the negotiations until the Americans say if German government offices and European institutions are bugged or wiretapped,” Peer Steinbrück, leader of the Social Democratic (SPD) party, told German public television broadcaster ARD (Google Translate) on Sunday evening. Steinbrück is running as a rival candidate against Chancellor Angela Merkel in the upcoming election next month.

He formerly served as Minister of Finance in the Merkel government and also as the Minister President (Governor) of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s largest state by population.     

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