Photo: Felix Sanz Roldan
Lawmakers from Spain’s political parties expressed satisfaction Wednesday after intelligence chief Felix Sanz Roldan briefed them on U.S. electronic spying in the Iberian nation.
The National Intelligence Center, or CNI, director spent more than two hours behind closed doors with Parliament’s official secrets committee.
Sanz Roldan reassured lawmakers “that in our territory the actions of our intelligence services are conducted with absolute respect for Spaniards’ fundamental rights,” Soraya Rodriguez, parliamentary spokeswoman of the main opposition Socialists, said after the session.
She added, however, that the conservative Popular Party government needs to continue demanding explanations from Washington about the U.S. National Security Agency’s monitoring of millions of telephone calls in Spain.
The representatives of the PP, Alfonso Alonso; and the centrist UPyD, Rosa Diez, likewise said they were content with the information provided by Sanz Roldan.
Speaking for the United Left, Cayo Lara said the meeting did nothing to alter his level of calm or “nervousness” one way or the other.
“One never has absolute tranquility. What we need to have are many precautions,” he said, adding that he sees more reason to be concerned about the activities of U.S. intelligence than about the actions of Spain’s secret services.
Sanz Roldan’s responses were very “illuminating” and served to ease concerns about the CNI, Parliament speaker Jesus Posada said.
The CNI chief answered every question posed to him during the hearing, Posada said.
The NSA intercepted more than 60 million telephone calls in Spain between December 2012 and January 2013, Madrid daily El Mundo reported late last month, citing documents from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
NSA also monitored people’s activities on the Internet, e-mails and social-networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, the newspaper said.