Bilderberg Group Meets In Athens Amid Tight Security
Some of the world’s top business and political leaders started annual secret talks with the Bilderberg group Thursday in a suburb of Athens, under tight security control.
The surroundings of the Astir Palace, a luxury hotel in the suburban resort of Vouliagmeni, where the group is holding its annual meeting, were protected by dozens of policemen, who were keeping the press and public at bay, an AFP journalist said.
A Greek navy launch and boats carrying elite divers could be seen a few meters off the coast of the peninsula where the hotel stands. Greek newspapers said the group had also asked for the protection of two F-16 warplanes and a police helicopter.
Reports say U.S. State Department number two James Steinberg, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, Queen Sofia of Spain and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands are among those attending the Bilderberg meeting.
The group, which has been holding annual off-the record talks open to guests only since 1954, feeds conspiracy theories and speculation about its intentions, with critics accusing it of plotting world domination.
Several sources say Polish political adviser Joseph Retinger, former Belgian prime minister Paul van Zeeland and former Unilever chief executive Paul Rijkens organized the first meeting at the Hotel Bilderberg in the Netherlands to unite European and U.S. elites amid growing transatlantic tensions a half-century ago.
Its success spawned similar talks at posh hotels and palaces in Europe, the U.S. and Canada each year since.
Don’t tell anyone, don’t breathe a word, but the world’s most powerful men are meeting secretly again to save the planet from economic catastrophe. Oh, and their address, should you want to send them your opinions, is: c/o Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel, Apollonos Avenue 40, 16671 Vouliagmeni, Greece.
Bed space is a bit tight there for the next two days while the Bilderberg illuminati hold their private conclave in the five-star Greek hotel. Every year since 1954 a club of about 130 senior or up-and-coming politicians gather at the fireside of a secluded hotel with top bankers and a sprinkling of royalty to discuss burning issues, to trade confidences and just stay abreast of the I-know-something-you-don’t-know circuit. No lists of participants are disclosed, no press conferences are held; spill the beans and you’re out of the magic circle….
This year the club is going to talk about depression. “According to the pre-meeting booklet sent out to attendees, Bilderberg is looking at two options,” says the Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin — “either a prolonged, agonising depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty — or an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”
Since Bilderberg does not officially exist, it cannot deny anything and is therefore manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorist. Eurosceptics are convinced that the future development of the European Union was plotted here — EU commissioners have always been welcomed into the coven, with Peter “We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich” Mandelson a particular favourite. Margaret Thatcher, it is said, was a shy debutante at a Bilderberg meeting in 1975.
Jim Tucker, veteran stalker of the Bilderberg club meetings, claims that Mrs Thatcher was ordered “to dismantle British sovereignty, but she said, ‘no way’, so they had her sacked”. Left-wing conspiracy theorists believe that Bilderbergers form a capitalist nucleus, and there is a germ of truth in this. The meetings were started in the Netherlands, in the Hotel de Bilderberg, near Arnhem, by the Polish exile Joseph Retinger. He was worried about growing anti-Americanism and the advance of Communism in Western Europe. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands agreed to sponsor the idea, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Walter Bedell Smith, threw his weight behind it and so did the White House.
The Bilderberg consensus is that national problems are best solved by an internationally oriented elite, that a global network of decision-makers should have a common language and that the boundaries are fluid between the monied and the political classes. >>>
From today until May 17, approximately 150 of the most influential members of the world’s elite will be meeting behind closed doors at a hotel in Greece. They are called the Bilderberg Group or the “Bilderbergers,” and you have probably never heard of them….
Those reportedly in attendance at last year’s conference in Virginia include former U.S. senator Tom Daschle; Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and his predecessor Henry M. Paulson; former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice; Microsoft executive Craig Mundie; senior Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot; World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
There is no official list of who’s who in Bilderberg and there are no press conferences about the meetings. This is because the group operates under the “Chatham House Rule,” and no details of what goes on inside are released to the press.
This secrecy has led to many claims that the Bilderberg Group are the world’s real “kingmakers,” and, some even suggest, behind the global financial crisis.
There are also rumors concerning Bilderberg’s 2008 conference in Virginia, claiming that the recent U.S. presidential election was decided upon in a secret meeting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, courtesy of Bilderberg.
Those involved in Bilderberg reject such claims outright, arguing that the forum offers a chance for world leaders to discuss international affairs openly and honestly.
Former British cabinet minister, Lord Denis Healey, who was one of the founders of the group, branded assumptions of world domination as “crap!” and said that the group’s aims were much purer.
In an interview to journalist Jon Ronson of the Guardian, Healey said: “Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”…
As the BBC’s Jonathan Duffy noted in 2004, the air of mystery has fueled the increasingly popular conspiracy theory that the Bilderberg meetings are where decisions affecting the entire world are made.
“No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted,” Duffy wrote. “In the void created by such aloofness, an extraordinary conspiracy theory has grown up around the group that alleges the fate of the world is largely decided by Bilderberg.”
Recently, mainstream press coverage of the Bilderberg meeting has grown, largely due to the internet. This year’s conference may have been covered by British broadsheets, but don’t expect to see any coverage from U.S. news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post – they will most likely be at the conference.
Charlie Skelton is menaced by police with guns (and mirrors on sticks) in his third dispatch from (near) the Bilderberg summit of the global elite.
You know your day’s gone badly when it ends with you being shouted at in a Greek police station.
It wasn’t meant to end this way. I’d gone for a gentle sunset walk, up by the Bilderberg hotel, to relax before the big opening day of the elite globalist shindig, watch Phoebus plunge headlong into the western sea, and (yes) maybe sneak a couple of short-lens pictures of the mounting security.
Opposite the hotel gates I took a casual photo out over the bay, limbering up to swivel round and snap off some naturalistic “armed guard having fag and chatting up policewoman” sort of shots. A plainclothes officer jogged across the road and got in my face. >>>