Bilderberg Meeting 1996 in Canada
By Russell Blinch TORONTO, May 30 (Reuter) – Queens, prime ministers, industrialists and journalists were among more than 100 delegates who gathered at a guarded retreat near Canada’s largest city on Thursday to secretly mull the world’s ills.
As is the tradition since the first Bilderberg Meeting was held in the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek, Holland in 1954, no news conferences will be held or statements issued after the annual meeting. But frank talk will be encouraged among the delegates from Europe, the United States and Canada who are meeting for nearly three days at a $40 million ranch north of Toronto.
“There are no massive indiscretions, but the exchanges can be quite heated,” Conrad Black, the Canadian press baron hosting this year’s conference, told reporters on Wednesday. Conference organizers said of the 120 participants, one third are from government and the remainder from fields such as finance, industry, labor, education and the media.
The meeting will be chaired by Lord Carrington, former NATO secretary general. He will be joined by a phalanx of leaders in power — Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Finland’s President Martti Ahtisaari, U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind. The queens of the Netherlands and Spain and princes from the Netherlands and Belgium make up the royalty contingent.
Other luminaries include Henry Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state; Lloyd Bentsen, former U.S. Treasury secretary; Jack Matlock, former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, and Francisco Pinto Balsemao, former Portugese prime minister. Blue chip representatives include the heads of Ford Motor Co., Sarah Lee, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Xerox Corp, Barclays Bank Plc and Reuters Holdings Plc.
Discussions in the former luxury spa now owned by a Canadian bank are expected to range from the enlargement of the European Union to China, Russia and the former Yugoslavia