German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L-R), vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and German chancellor Angela Merkel talk to each other during the New Year Reception in Berlin, on January 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO / DPA / WOLFGANG KUMM /GERMANY OUT
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Chancellor Angela Merkel's government on Tuesday brushed aside a report that talks with Washington to prevent further U.S. spying on German ministers faced collapse, saying it continued to push for a deal on the politically explosive issue.A government source in Berlin told Reuters the United States remained interested in a deal but was loath to give a blanket pledge not to try to monitor government members."The Americans understand one language very well -- and that's the language of business," said Stephan Mayer, a senior lawmaker in the ranks of Merkel's conservatives.He told Reuters that if the deal fails, Germany should consider barring U.S. companies from getting public sector contracts because it could not be ruled out that U.S. contractors would engage in espionage activities.
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