The U.S. likes to justify its data collection mania with the global war on terror. Now it looks as if the National Security Agency (NSA) not only extensively spied on countries, but even bugged EU offices. For that latest action, the terror argument is invalid. It is time for a European ultimatum.

Apparently it is primarily important to the U.S. intelligence agencies to confirm various prejudices about Americans that exist in large parts of the world. This cannot be excused with the wars against the U.S. on the part of Islamic terrorists. The EU is an organization solely of nations that up to now have understood themselves to be allies, even friends, of America.

Certainly, there are differences of interest and economic competition, but if Washington wants to find prejudices in these normal differences through the methods of a secret service republic, then the EU must react accordingly — not just individual countries, but the entire Union.

No Answer, No Negotiations

A demand for information provided with an ultimatum is imperative. How and when did U.S. agencies track Europe, and by whose order? If there are not sufficient answers soon, the EU should break off free trade talks with the Americans until the situation is cleared up.

Yes, a delay in the negotiations would be a detriment to Europe, too. But what weighs more heavily is an underhanded attack from the camp of friends whose president was just playing a sweet melody in Berlin.