Greek nationalists protest Bilderberg Group meeting
ATHENS, Greece -- Police heavily guarded a luxury resort in Greece on Saturday where a secretive annual rendezvous of top politicians and business leaders reportedly took place.
Several dozen Greek demonstrators gathered outside the Astir Palace hotel in the coastal town of Vouliagmeni to criticize the Bilderberg Group, an international group that was founded half a century ago in the Netherlands.
It has no widely known headquarters, meets secretly at luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world by invitation only, and generally makes no public announcements afterward.
The demonstrators, from Greece's right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally party, shouted slogans and held a large banner saying "Bilderberg Unwelcome" outside the hotel, which is 25 miles south of Athens on the Aegean Sea. One demonstrator was arrested when the group tried to break through a police cordon.
"We came here to protest this anti-Greek meeting," Argyris Sideris, a regional party secretary, said. "We need to do something to protect our country."
The popular hotel was closed to the public.
A police officer said 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.
Outside the hotel on Friday, Greek Communist Party members conducted a peaceful demonstration against the Bilderberg Group.
Greek newspapers said the secret meeting of the politicians and managers of world capitalism included Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
The papers said this year's invitees also included U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; Larry Summers, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council; the Obama administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke; World Bank president Robert Zoellick; European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
But those reports could not be independently confirmed.
The three-day meeting apparently ended Saturday.