June 2012, Week 2


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Sat, 9 Jun 2012 11:23:44 -0400
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Schmoozing with the New World Order

    Green Party Leader Slammed for Going to

By Florian Gathmann

Siegel (Germany)
June 6, 2012


The secretive annual Bilderberg conference of the
global elite has inspired a host of conspiracy
theories. Now a senior German Green Party politician is
under fire for attending this year's event. Many greens
are asking what he was doing schmoozing with business
and financial leaders.

Industry leaders from around the globe, heads of
government and leaders of organizations such as the
World Bank and the World Trade Organization gathered
over the weekend in Chantilly, Virginia for the 60th
edition of the fabled Bilderberg conference on finance
and foreign affairs. The list of participants reads
like a global who's who of the rich and powerful.
Outgoing Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann was there,
as was Shell CEO Peter Voser, Google executive chairman
Eric Schmidt, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

Jürgen Trittin, co-floor leader of the Green Party in
German parliament, was also in attendance.

Now Trittin has found himself having to defend his
participation after many people asked what a Green
Party leader -- one who represents the left wing of his
party, no less -- was doing at the secretive annual
gathering. The politician, who is perhaps best known
internationally for his controversial 2005 comments on
Hurricane Katrina while environment minister, has been
the subject of a flood of criticism since his return
from the US.

An Informal World Government?

The German business news magazine Wirtschaftswoche has
described the Bilderberg conference, which takes place
at a different location each year, as "the most admired
circle of power." Critics of globalization, including
many Green Party supporters, would rather describe it
as the most dangerous circle of power. For them, the
exclusive, invitation-only meetings, named after the
Hotel de Bilderberg where the first conference was held
in 1954, represent a kind of informal, non-democratic
world government.

According to the Bilderberg website, "the meeting is
private in order to encourage frank and open
discussion." But the fact that the media is excluded
from the meetings has encouraged the proliferation of
conspiracy theories. For many people on both extremes
of the political spectrum, Bilderberg represents a kind
of secret society which meets to make deals on issues
of global importance. Some even see it as an attempt to
create a totalitarian world government, dubbed a "new
world order."

Among the protesters at the 2012 conference, which took
place from May 31 to June 3, were Ron Paul supporters,
Occupy activists, members of the 9/11 Truth movement
and Oath Keepers, a group of military and law
enforcement officers who have sworn to uphold the US
constitution, according to The Guardian. Radio show
host Alex Jones, who runs the Infowars.com website, was
one of the most prominent protesters.


Unfortunately for Green Party politician Trittin, many
of his own supporters subscribe to the Bilderberg
conspiracy theories. Since his return from his US trip,
Trittin has faced a wave of incomprehension and
skeptical questions. Some people object to the fact
that Trittin did not announce in advance that he would
take part in the Bilderberg conference. Trittin's
spokesman had announced all the politician's important
meetings for his US trip, including a meeting with UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but failed to mention
Bilderberg. Conspiracy theorists see that omission as
evidence of the sinister nature of the event.

Criticism has been arriving at Trittin's office in the
form of emails, letters and telephone calls. Other
skeptics have let off steam on his Facebook page. "I
find it unbelievable -- a Green politician schmoozing
with the financial elite," wrote one commentator. "I
would be very interested in finding out what a Green is
doing with such a 'club,'" wrote another. Trittin's
appearance at the conference has also been sharply
attacked on other Internet forums and websites, which
even include a photograph purporting to show the Green
politician arriving at the Chantilly event in a sedan
with tinted windows.

According to sources close to Trittin, the Green Party
floor leader already knew what kind of reaction his
participation at Bilderberg would provoke. But he is
likely to have been surprised by the vehemence of the

Now Trittin has gone on the offensive, published a Q&A
on his website addressing his participation at the
conference, in reaction to what he describes as "a
series of questions about the conference and my
participation in it."

Like Any Other Conference

In the Q&A, he explains that he was invited to take
part by Matthias Nass, international correspondent for
the respected German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, and
that he covered the expenses himself. "Current issues
such as trans-Atlantic relations, the current EU debt
crisis, questions of international energy policy and
cyber-security" were discussed at the conference, he
writes, adding that he took exactly the same positions
as he would anywhere else. He writes that he called for
"a move away from one-sided austerity in Europe" as
well as for a tax on financial transactions and an
asset tax to force the wealthy to bear part of the
costs of the crisis.

Conspiracy theorists may be disappointed to read
Trittin's description of Bilderberg as a banal get-
together. "My impression was that it differed little
from many other conferences where managers, academics
and politicians meet," he writes. He sees no problem
with the fact that it takes place in secret.

He defended himself against criticism of his
participation, saying it was "wrong" to impose bans on
who one should meet with. "It's not about who I meet,
but what I tell them," he writes. "Green convictions
have to be communicated precisely in places where they
are not yet actively represented."

'I Wouldn't Have Gone'

Trittin received support from Sven Giegold, a Green
member of the European Parliament and one of the
party's staunchest globalization critics. "I oppose the
logic of banning contact" with certain people, Giegold
says. "One should always accept invitations, as long as
they are not from mass murderers, war criminals, right-
wing extremists or anti-Semites." But Giegold, a former
leader of the German chapter of the globalization-
critical group Attac, also called for "maximum
transparency" when it comes to attending events such as
the Bilderberg conference -- an implicit criticism of

One prominent Green Party politician from the party's
left wing showed less sympathy for Trittin's attendance
at the conference. "I wouldn't have gone there myself,"
said Hans-Christian Ströbele, a veteran Bundestag
member known for his outspoken views on civil rights.
Ströbele has long been skeptical of the Bilderberg
Group. In 2005, he even submitted a parliamentary
question when Chancellor Angela Merkel took part in the

Tritten is not, however, the first Green Party
politician to take part in Bilderberg. Former Foreign
Minister Joschka Fischer attended the conference in
2008. That was, however, after Fischer had already
retired from active politics.


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