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Members of Dutch Labour Party at 52nd Bilderberg Conference

Netherlands Telegraph | June 3 2004

Translated from the original in Dutch

Stresa – In the Italian town of Stresa, next Thursday about 130 European and North American top business men, diplomats and politicians will gather at the 52nd Bilderberg conference. They will discuss the European-American relations, however, no one is allowed to know what exactly is discussed during this informal gathering. The participants had to solemnly promise they will not discuss the matter with the press afterwards.

On behalf of the Netherlands some top executives from the world of business will attend the meeting that is ringed by secrecy: Antony Burgmans (Unilever), Jeroen van der Veer (Shell) and Hans Wijers (Akzo Nobel). Furthermore the guest list includes Euro-commissioner Frits Bolkestein, the professor of economics from Leiden Victor Halberstadt, PvdA [Dutch Labour Party] member of the Chamber Bert Koenders, EU coordinator for terrorism combat Gijs de Vries and the Dutch Queen.

From the United States among others the former deputy Foreign Secretary Richard Holbrooke, top banker David Rockefeller and former Foreign Secretary Henry Kissinger will come to the meeting. Also the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, former Belgian prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and the German Secretary of State for Home Affairs Otto Schily will attend.

According to the organizers, the Bilderberg conference is meant as a forum for the prominents of the world to exchange ideas about important issues without being hampered by media presence. The participants are selected based on their experience, knowledge and point of view.

According to the organizers, this year, among other issues, the agenda includes American foreign policy, Iraq, the Middle East, NATO, China and the global economic depression. The meeting will be closed on Sunday, without any concluding remarks or press conference and with an obligation of silence for every person involved.

The first Bilderberg conference took place in 1954 and is named after the Dutch hotel where the first meeting took place. The first meeting was an initiative of Prince Bernhard, who was a regular attendant for many years.