BERLIN - The leader of Germany's opposition Greens suggested on Monday that Europe provide a safe haven for former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, whose revelations about the extent of US surveillance programs have infuriated America's allies.
Juergen Trittin, parliamentary leader and candidate for chancellor of the Greens, Germany's third biggest party, told German television it was an outrage that the 30-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor should be seeking asylum in "despotic" countries.
"It's painful for democrats that someone who has served democracy and, in our view, uncovered a massive violation of basic rights, should have to seek refuge with despots who have problems with basic rights themselves," said Trittin.
"Someone like that should be protected," he said. "That counts for Mr Snowden. He should get safe haven here in Europe because he has done us a service by revealing a massive attack on European citizens and companies. Germany, as part of Europe, could do that."
Trittin did not specify which "despots" he was referring to.