EU-US: MEPs swat Swift
12 February 2010
"It just squeaked by," sighs Tagenszeitung, which doesn't hide its pleasure after the European Parliament's February 11th vote to reject "spying on bank transfers" by American authorities. The Americans will no longer be able to have access to the banking information of European citizens in the formers' fight against terrorism. The bone of contention is called Swift, the server's name that records this information. The European Parliament has thus invalidated an agreement signed last November by the interior ministers on the eve of the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty. Without this reaction by European law makers, governments "might have concluded that mystery, threats and delayed deadlines pay," comments the Berlin daily. Traditionally concerned about public freedoms and the protection of information, TAZ is delighted by the perspective of "equal to equal" negotiations between the EU and the United States on the values of "liberty or security." Der Spiegel Online, on the other hand, believes that this vote will be a source of transatlantic tension and notes that the Americans will be able to negotiate the exchange of information bilaterally.