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Europe Mulls Sanctions Against US Over Spying

Still, Florentino Portero, a political analyst at Madrid's Open University, said Spain's response to the allegations wasn't as strong as it could have been because of the country's ties with the U.S., especially intelligence sharing.

"The Spanish government doesn't want to create a crisis with the United States based on these leaks," he told The Associated Press.

Madrid is wary of endangering the U.S. military presence in Spain at two bases, Portero said. The U.S. is boosting its presence there as part of a missile defense system, and both Spanish and American officials have stressed that this will give Spain an economic boost as it struggles with unemployment of 26 percent following years of recession.

But Heather Conley, Europe director for Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that for Germany, at least, the situation appeared to have reached tipping point and for now other European countries were willing to follow Berlin's lead.

German intelligence officials are to travel to Washington this week and expect something tangible to bring home, she said.

"If they leave empty-handed, we've got a big problem," Conley said.

___

Giles contributed from Madrid. Associated Press correspondents Geir Moulson and Robert H. Reid in Berlin, Juergen Baetz in Brussels, Jorge Sainz and Alan Clendenning in Madrid, Kimberly Dozier in Washington and Sarah DiLorenzo in Paris contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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