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Astir Palace Hotel Resort, reported site of this year’s Bilderberg Group meeting
WASHINGTON – The latest meeting of the secretive, half-century-old Bilderberg Group concluded yesterday outside of Athens with a few arrests, but little news.
Demonstrators from the political left and right shouted outside the Astir Palace hotel letting some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world know they weren’t entirely welcome.
A photographer for the London Guardian was briefly taken into custody while police insisted he delete pictures he took outside the hotel, which was closed to the public during the three-day meeting.
A police officer told the Associated Press the resort was being protected by hundreds of police, navy commandos, coast guard speedboats and two F-16 fighter planes. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with his department’s regulations.
Attendees this year reportedly included U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; Larry Summers, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council; Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; World Bank President Robert Zoellick; European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Bilderberg attendance is by invitation only. And if you want an invitation, you’d better be extremely rich or extremely powerful.
New invitees reportedly include the nouveau riche Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt. Henry Kissinger, a lynchpin of continuity with other secretive internationalist groups including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, is a regular attendee, as is Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot.
Former British cabinet minister, Lord Denis Healey, one of the founders of the group, explained the purpose of the group to Jon Ronson of the Guardian: “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.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Estulin, author of “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group,” said before the confab the main topic of the agenda for this meeting was the world economy. He said his sources inside the group told him the movers and shakers would be discussing two options – “either a prolonged, agonizing 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.”
As WND has reported, The Bilderberg Group meets at luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world. Last year’s conference was held at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va. WND made an effort to gain entry, but was denied. Every four years the conference is held in the U.S. or Canada. The group has an office located in Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands.
The highly secretive meeting is off limits to press, but past reports from sources that have managed to penetrate the high-security meetings have stated that the meetings emphasize a globalist agenda and dismiss national sovereignty as regressive.
The BBC declared it to be one of the most influential organizations in the world.
“It’s officially described as a private gathering,” BBC reported, “but with a guest list including the heads of European and American corporations, political leaders and a few intellectuals, it’s one of the most influential organizations on the planet.”
Attendees of the Bilderberg conference are not allowed to speak a word of what is discussed in the meeting outside of the group. The group has no website and no minutes are kept of the meetings to ensure secrecy.
Last year, however, the Bilderberg Group made a press release available listing topics of discussion and providing a general overview of the gathering.
“Approximately 140 participants will attend, of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America,” the release stated. “About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds are from finance, industry, labor, education and communications. The meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion.”
This year’s event was the 57th annual gathering of the Bilderberg Group, which began meeting in 1954. A scheduled meeting in 1976 was canceled, but if added to the tally, leads some to count this year’s gathering as the 58th.