The world's financial and political elite are to hold a closed
meeting in France on Thursday where delegates are expected to be
focusing their attention on post war Iraq.
The Bilderberg meeting will be held in Versailles just before the
start of the Group of Seven meeting of finance ministers in nearby
Henry Kissinger is believed to be attending
Bilderberg, which was founded in the 1950s by Prince Bernhard of
the Netherlands, is said to steer international policy from behind
Its critics say that it is a capitalist organisation which
operates entirely through self interest.
By anyone's standards, it is a bit of a mystery.
There are no members as such - instead, an invitation list is
comprised each year by an unknown steering committee, but
participants are mainly leading and powerful figures in the fields
of business and politics.
The meetings are cloaked in secrecy and participants rarely
reveal their attendance, although this year's list is rumoured to
include the American banker David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger.
What the group actually does is no clearer either, although it's
known to be an extremely influential lobbying group with a good deal
of political clout on both sides of the Atlantic.
Key members of both the British and the US governments are said
to have attended gatherings.
But critics accuse Bilderberg of being sinister and
conspiratorial - if what the delegates are discussing is really for
the good of ordinary people they ask, then why can't they publicise