VIPs, conspiracy theorists descend on Swiss resort

AP News
Posted: Jun 12, 2011 10:16 AM
VIPs, conspiracy theorists descend on Swiss resort

A secretive gathering of senior government officials and business executives held a weekend meeting at the Swiss resort of St. Moritz that some liken to a shadow world government.

The annual Bilderberg meeting's Web site said its annual conference ending Sunday dealt mainly with challenges for growth, security and democracy in Europe, the Middle East and China. The group was formed more than a half-century ago to encourage better cooperation among leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 130 attendees from Europe, North America and other countries _ among the invitees were EU President Herman Van Rompuy, members of European royalty, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt _ keep up an informal, off-the-record tradition that is a perennial fascination for conspiracy theorists.

This year's conference was held at an Alpine luxury hotel patrolled by private security guards. It drew a leftist demonstration Saturday. The hotel also drew curiosity seekers hoping for some insight into the closed-door talks.

Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard confirmed her attendance at the invitation-only meeting, but the full list of those who joined has not yet been released by the group.