The American National Security Agency (NSA) spied on over 60 million telephone calls in Spain between Dec. 10, 2012 and Jan. 8, 2013, according to allegations made on Monday.
These allegations are based on the documents filtered by former CIA analyst Edward Snowden in an article published in Spanish newspaper El Mundo by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who wrote for the British newspaper The Guardian.
Greenwald was the journalist who helped publish the documents originally filtered by Snowden, which indicate that the NSA spied on the phone conversations of European leaders, among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The document entitled, "Spain last 30 days," reportedly reflects the calls and although it does not give details of their contents, it does give details of the numbers used, the place the calls were made from and the duration of the conversations.
The espionage also includes intrusions into personal information through internet navigators which were used to access private e-mail accounts as well as accounts in the social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook.
This information is hugely embarrassing to the United States and its release coincides with a meeting between Spanish Foreign Minister Manuel Garcia Margallo and U.S. Ambassador to Spain James Costos, precisely to discuss allegations of espionage.
The decision, which was announced on Friday, came after France and Germany both asking the United States for explanations following reports Merkel was among 35 world leaders whose phones have been monitored by U.S. espionage services.
Merkel commented on Friday that, "we need trust among allies and partners and such trust now has to be built anew ... spying among friends cannot happen and it is clear that for the future something must change and it must change significantly."
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was less forthcoming on the issue, saying he had no indications he had been spied on by the NSA, while Garcia Margallo was more bullish. Although he said he too had no indications spying had took place he commented: "if it is finally confirmed, it is an unacceptable and inadmissible practice. There are red lines such as the right to privacy and intimacy which cannot be crossed."