The US wiretapped two of France’s economy ministers and spied on the country’s largest companies, French media reported citing WikiLeaks documents, just days after it emerged the US had spied on three of the country’s leaders.
Pierre Moscovici, former minister of the economy under French President Francois Hollande and now a European commissioner, and Francois Baroin, minister for budget and then for the economy under Nicholas Sarkozy, were both reportedly targeted by the US National Security Agency.
French newspaper Liberation late on Monday said the US agency had spied on some 100 French companies, “including almost all of the CAC 40” index of the country’s largest listed firms.
“Never has evidence of such huge economic espionage in France, orchestrated at the highest ranks of the American government, been established so clearly,” said Liberation.
Spying focused mainly on telecommunications, electricity, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, and health projects, as well as all deals valued at above $200 million, according to WikiLeaks.
Online news portal Mediapart in particular pointed to a wiretap of a conversation from 2012 between then finance minister Moscovici and a socialist senator, AFP reported.
The accusations come after revelations from WikiLeaks last week that the NSA has wiretapped three French presidents — current head of state Hollande, Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac — between 2006 and 2012.
The latest claims of NSA snooping on European leaders prompted France to summon the US ambassador and prompted President Barack Obama to put in a conciliatory phone call to Hollande.