The US National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapped the communications of two French economy ministers and spied on the country's largest companies, according to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, just one week after it emerged the US had spied on the last three presidents of France.
Pierre Moscovici, the former minister of the economy under French President Francois Hollande and Francois Baroin, the former economy minister under ex-president Nicholas Sarkozy and now the minister for budget, were both targeted by the NSA, French media reported on Monday, citing WikiLeaks documents.
The NSA had also spied on about 100 French companies, "including almost all of the CAC 40" index of the country's largest listed firms, according to the French newspaper Liberation and online news portal Mediapart.
"Never has evidence of such huge economic espionage in France, orchestrated at the highest ranks of the American government, been established so clearly," said Liberation.
WikiLeaks said in one document, the NSA had asked intelligence services from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to collect information on proposed French export contracts worth more than $200 million in sectors including telecommunications, electricity, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, and health projects.
The accusations come after revelations from WikiLeaks last week revealed that the NSA had wiretapped former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Sarkozy, along with Hollande.
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama reassured his French counterpart that Washington is no longer spying on him.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of the agency’s spying activities in June 2013.
He leaked classified intelligence documents showing massive collections of phone records of Americans and foreign nationals as well as political leaders around the world, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.