Secretive Bilderberg group gathering raises the usual conspiracy theories
Secretive meeting of global luminaries raises usual conspiracy theories
The highly secretive Bilderberg group's annual meeting is under way in Copenhagen, attracting members of the global elite as well as protesters and conspiracy theorists criticising its lack of transparency.
Among this year's hand-picked participants are Google chief Eric Schmidt, Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British finance minister George Osborne, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and former US National Security Agency director Keith Alexander.
Since its inception in 1954, the high-calibre guest list, as well as the fact that the mysterious conference is not open to the media, has made it fertile ground for conspiracy theorists who have claimed it secretly controls world politics.
"We're against not being included in what's happening in there," said Reem Al Alami, a student protesting against the meeting at a Copenhagen hotel on Friday. "That's not how I think a democracy should work."
She was among a few dozen protesters, police and members of the media who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the attendees as they filed in to the gathering.
Even though the annual four-day meeting was launched to "foster dialogue between Europe and North America", where most members come from, this year's edition included two Chinese, Huang Yiping, an economics professor at Peking University, and Liu He, a senior economic official.
Inside the hotel, secured by the tight police presence that usually accompanies Bilderberg events, delegates were expected to discuss a host of topics that only for the second year have been revealed in an official press release.
Among the questions and issues up for discussion are: is the economic recovery sustainable; does privacy exist; the big shifts in technology; and Ukraine.