Well, I never thought that it was possible that Angela Merkel would become so pissed off at the United States that it would damage the relationship between the two nations. The disclosure that the NSA intercepted communications from Merkel's personal mobile phone seems to have done just that:
Es ist schwierig einzuschätzen, wofür Merkel Obama mehr verachten würde: Dafür, dass er sie angelogen hat oder dafür, dass er seine Geheimdienste nicht im Griff hat. Beides dürfte sich aber in ihr Bild vom mächtigsten Mann der Welt fügen: Ein äußerst schwieriger Bündnispartner.
(It's hard to say what fuels Merkel's contempt for Obama more: that he lied to her, or that he has lost control over his intelligence service. Both feed into her view of the most powerful man in the world: a very difficul alliance partner.)
I've been reading about the threats coming from Berlin - including from the office of the foreign secretary Guido Westerwelle - about retaliatory actions against the United States. Threats of legal action, or cancelling the free trade agreement negotiations with the United States. Nothing will come of them; the trade agreement would create at least 10,000 new jobs in Germany, and benefit Germany much more than the US. Over one million Americans work for German-owned corporations; in some cases these companies achieve more sales in the US than in Europe.
Despite the bluster in Berlin, Germany - and Europe - will continue to rely on the US for security. The NSA will scale back its surveillance activity in Europe, even as Russia and China intensify theirs. And remember, there are no Russian or Chinese Edward Snowdens.