WikiLeaks released documents on Wednesday showing that the US National Security Agency (NSA) listened in to a meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2001 with her two advisers, Helge Hassold and Albrecht Morgenstern, on European financial stability.
Leaked NSA documents on the WikiLeaks website say that “two of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's advisers advised her on 28 August  that the current draft of the European Financial Stability Facility [EFSF] appeared satisfactory.”
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 8, 2015
The top secret NSA documents also give detailed information on the advisers’ concerns about the EFSF draft not containing conditions for financial and interest rate support.
WikiLeaks published three different conversations involving Merkel tapped by the NSA. These conversations discuss Merkel’s plans regarding “how to respond to the international financial crisis and the eurozone bank bailout,” her criticism of US relations with Iran and her concerns over the US Federal Reserve’s reaction to the 2008 financial crisis.
The leaked files also include years of phone conversations between German ministers and Merkel’s assistants, which suggests that the NSA’s monitoring activities in Germany long before than previously thought.
WikiLeaks also published a list of 69 phone numbers of top German government officials allegedly tapped by NSA since 2002 that evolved from another NSA list of 125 names created in the 1990s.
The list of phone numbers includes staff who worked for former German Chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Helmut Kohl, Merkel’s former head of chancellery Ronald Pofalla, and ministry of defence official Geza Andreas von Geyr.
These leaks may further strain relations between Germany and the US which have already suffered from previous revelations by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. Snowden suggested in February that the NSA began monitoring Merkel in 2002 and her mobile phone was tracked until 2014.
Merkel faces harsh criticism at home where her critics argue that she has failed to respond to US spying more aggressively.
On June 24, Wikileaks published another set of documents suggesting that the US spied on the last three French presidents along with many other high-ranking French government officials.
The documents indicate the NSA intercepted the communications of French Presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac as well as French cabinet ministers.
The NSA has spied on 122 world leaders in total, intercepting their communications, the Snowden documents revealed.