Germany's "Mutti" Creating Distrust Among Citizenry in Spy Scandal

Germany's ARD television network said on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity has dropped abruptly in the wake of an unfolding spying scandal and she has slipped from the top spot among Germany's leading politicians.
Merkel has been in office since 2005 has long been the country's most popular politician and has weathered several earlier controversies, but in spite of that has been dubbed by the media as "Mutti", or German for 'Mommy', or the way she reassures many German voters.
Merkel, under fire over reports the BND intelligence agency helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spy on European targets with her office's blessings, saw her approval rating fall five points to 70 percent in the Infratest Dimap poll.
The chancellery has said it knew of NSA interest in spying on European defense firms since 2008, even though parliament was told in 2014 it had no information on that.
But Germans are upset that the BND may have helped the NSA spy on European officials and firms such as Airbus. Spying for the NSA is a sensitive issue in Germany due to past abuses of privacy rights by the Nazis and East German Stasi secret police.
Merkel ardently backed the BND's cooperation on Monday, saying it was vital to fight terrorism.



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