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Minimal protests ahead of conclusion of meeting of mysterious global group in Copenhagen today

Police had anticipated trouble during the Bilderberg Group conference, a closed-off gathering of the world's leading figures held annually since 1954


The sentiment of the protesters was clear enough (photo: Scanpix)

June 1, 2014
13:31

by Ben Hamilton


The annual meeting of the enigmatic Bilderberg Group will conclude today at the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel, which might explain why there have been sightings of James Bond in town.

If that sounds far-fetched – you might remember a similarly mysterious group in the film 'Quantum of Solace' – according to the Daily Telegraph, conspiracy theorists believe the Bilderberg Group consists of “giant shape-shifting lizards, bent on ruling the world” who “control fleets of black helicopters”.  

Nevertheless, while Bond might be out there, abseiling down buildings on Kalvebod Brygge, the Copenhagen Police has had a quiet bank holiday weekend.

It had up to 3,000 officers on standby in case of protests, but so far there has been no need to deploy them.

Closed to media, strictly informal
The Bilderberg Group’s conference, which started on Thursday, is closed off to media. This enables its high-profile attendees the chance to voice unpopular opinions and speak candidly without the fear of accountability, and the discussions are bound by strict secrecy rules.

The official line is that the Bilderberg Group, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, provides a meeting place for distinguished faces of academia, industry, finance and the media to meet politicians to discuss global policy matters. The first meeting in 1954 was apparently held in response to concerns over the growth of anti-Americanism feelings in Western Europe.

It is a “forum for informal discussions about megatrends and major issues facing the world", explains its website.

“There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”

However, an agenda leaked to media revealed that seven out of the nine main points this year were climate change; US foreign policy; cyberware; EU internet privacy regulation; the rise of nationalism in Europe; a gas deal between Russia and China; and nuclear diplomacy (particularly in regards to a deal with Iran).

Aiming for a one-world government
Back in 2001, Denis Healey, a former British chancellor of the exchequer who was a Bilderberg founding member, told the Guardian that it was a little “exaggerated, but not wholly unfair” to say the group’s overall aim was a one-world government.

“Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless,” he told The Guardian.

“So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing."

Among the attendees
Among the estimated 140 attendees this year were NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen along with General Philip M Breedlove, the organisation’s supreme allied commander in Europe; Queen Sofia of Spain; Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt; the UK’s chancellor of exchequer, George Osborne; Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund; retired US diplomat Henry Kissinger; and John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of The Economist.

Copenhagen has previously hosted the conference twice before: in 1956 and 1969.



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