World

Merkel's former, current chiefs of staff testifying to parliament panel over spy affair

  • Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends a news conference on the national crime report in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. De Maiziere said that anti-Semitic offenses rose 25.2 percent last year to 1,596 after declining in 2013. Crimes against foreigners were up 21.5 percent to 3,945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends a news conference on the national crime report in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. De Maiziere said that anti-Semitic offenses rose 25.2 percent last year to 1,596 after declining in 2013. Crimes against foreigners were up 21.5 percent to 3,945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere adjusts his glasses as he attends a news conference about German national crime report in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. De Maiziere said that anti-Semitic offenses rose 25.2 percent last year to 1,596 after declining in 2013. Crimes against foreigners were up 21.5 percent to 3,945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere adjusts his glasses as he attends a news conference about German national crime report in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. De Maiziere said that anti-Semitic offenses rose 25.2 percent last year to 1,596 after declining in 2013. Crimes against foreigners were up 21.5 percent to 3,945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Chancellor Angela Merkel's current and former chiefs of staff are appearing before a parliamentary committee over allegations Germany's spy agency acted against national interests in cooperating with U.S. counterparts.

The government has faced scrutiny over what the chancellery knew, and when, of the Federal Intelligence Service's activities since a report last month suggested it may have helped the U.S. spy on European companies and officials as long ago as 2008.

Merkel's then-chief of staff, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, and incumbent Peter Altmaier were to testify behind closed doors Wednesday to the parliamentary panel overseeing intelligence services.

Merkel says she's willing to testify before a separate parliamentary inquiry. She's faced criticism over the reports but a poll Wednesday indicated the affair so far hasn't damaged her ratings or her party's.