Secretive Bilderberg Club Ready for Protests

Published on
by
TimesOnline/UK

Secretive Bilderberg Club Ready for Protests

by
Graham Keeley

Spanish prime mininster Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is expected to open this year's meeting of the Bilderberg club, near Barcelona. (Sergio Perez/Reuters)

Splash! Could that be the sound of Lord Mandelson hitting one of the
Dolce
hotel's four pools? Or Robert Zoellick of the World Bank? Paul Volcker
of
the US Economic Recovery Advisory Board? Or merely the euro taking
another
dive?

That is the thing about the Bilderberg group's top secret meetings: you
never
know quite what is going on behind the police checkpoints.

Across the world, secretaries to the rich and the powerful have blocked
out
the next three days in their bosses' calendars for their annual
gathering,
this time at the Dolce in Sitges, one of Spain's most exclusive resorts.

Normally, every minute of their working lives is accounted for but, each
year,
a couple of hundred of the world's financial elite and the more
business-friendly members of the political class disappear from view;
supposedly to save the planet from the dangers of parochialism, the
nationalist genie.

It is all terribly confidential - breathe a word about it and you're out
of
the club - but the Bilderberg watcher Daniel Estulin claims to have a
copy
of the agenda. The big question this time around is whether the euro
will
survive. "They are afraid that the countries in trouble will leave and
the
euro will fall apart," said Mr Estulin. "The biggest nightmare is if EU
members return to nationally orientated policies."

That would certainly explain why the keynote address is being given by
José
Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister. The Piigs -
Portugal,
the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain - are of concern to the

Bilderbergers. After all, the club was set up in 1954 by a Polish exile,

Joseph Retinger, to create a European bulwark against the spread of
communism. It provided the germ of the European idea; Franco-German
reconciliation, the entry of West Germany into Nato, the Maastricht
treaty -
all were cooked up in annual fireside chats.

Now, according to Mr Estulin's information, the Bilderbergers are
nervous that
the erosion of the euro could nudge the world back into recession while
public services cuts could trigger unrest and radicalise the political
climate.

Plenty to talk about at the Dolce, then. The Bilderberg protesters, sure
that
they can smell a good oldfashioned capitalist conspiracy, will be
holding
fringe meetings in the town. The hunt will be on to find a chambermaid
ready
to ransack hotel litter bins for evidence that evil work is afoot. It
has
been easier to get nuggets of information out of Bilderberg since hotel
staff started to read Dan Brown and talk about the illuminati.

Could it be, though, that the Bilderbergers are simply having fun, away
from
their spouses, on their annual jamboree? The secret of Bilderberg could
be
that there is no secret. Certainly, the hotel offers plenty of
distractions
for stressed CEOs: qi-gong courses, excellent fish, fine wines and
bicycle
tours.

Henry Kissinger, 87, the former US Secretary of State, and David
Rockefeller,
95, the former chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, are the elder
statesmen
of Bilderberg - but the leaked invitation list reveals that the
gathering is
made up primarily of elderly white gents.

Remember Richard Perle, 68, George Bush's erstwhile Prince of Darkness?
He
could perhaps form a Prince of Darkness sub-group with Lord Mandelson.
Paul
Wolfowitz, 66, formerly of the World Bank? Mario Monti, 67, EU
commissioner
for the single market between 1995 and 1999?

Only the possible attendance of George Osborne, 39, the British
Chancellor,
will reassure hotel staff that they are not dealing with a Saga Holidays

tour. Other members of this clandestine coven include Queen Sofia of
Spain
and Queen Beatrix of Holland. No doubt their views will be sought on the

Swedish royal wedding later this month. Is it right, for example, that a

young princess should marry her personal trainer? Fortunately, the Dolce
has
a team of personal trainers on hand ready to chip into the debate.

Last year Bilderberg held its meeting at the Nafsika Astir Palace hotel
in
Greece and apparently failed to spot how close their host country was to

melting down. Watch out, Spain!

The weather forecast is for three days of sunshine - time for the
Bilderbergers to slink out of the shadows.

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