On October 14, Viscount Etienne Davignon, the president of the Bilderberg group gave a speech in Bucharest at the conference entitled, “European Union after the Sovereign Debt Crisis.” A Belgian businessperson, Davignon was born in Budapest in 1934.
Former vice president of the European Commission and president of International Agency for Energy, Davignon seldom gives interviews, particularly since he became president of the Bilderbergs in 2000.
Founded officially in 1954, the secretive group met for the first time at the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek. The owner of the hotel was Price Bernhard of Holland, the father of Queen Beatrix. According to Cristina Martin Jimenez, who studied the group, Joseph H. Retinger, a Jewish businessperson born in Poland, asked Prince Bernhard to invite NATO leaders to an open debate on international issues. All NATO member states sent representatives. In addition, John D. Rockefeller, CIA director Walter Bedell Smith, and Paul Rijkens, president of the multinational corporation Unilever, completed the 66 participants. The first president of the Bilderberg group was Prince Bernhard who kept the post until 1976. He was forced to resign that year because of a personal financial scandal.
Joseph H. Retinger was instrumental in founding the European Coal and Steel Community as a first step towards European unification. The Marshall Plan helped strengthen the economic and political role of the Bilderbergs. In 2009, Etienne Davignon declared that the Bilderbergs had an important role in the European reconstruction and the creation of the European currency.
In an interview given to BBC six years ago, the Viscount emphasized the fact that they were not a global ruling class, but an influential group of people interested in speaking to other influential individuals. He was referring to the annual meeting of the group. He does not consider the Bilderbergs a secret group but a “private” one.
According to Spanish writer Cristina Martin Jimenez, three concentric circles help explain the power structure in the group. She studied the Bilderbergs and presented her findings in the book, “The Bilderbergs, Masters of the World.”
The first circle, the Committee of the Wise is composed of four members. John D. Rockefeller is the only one known publicly; he is 96 years old.
As President, Etienne Davignon is part of the Director Committee, the intermediate circle composed of secretaries and treasuries of members from both sides of the Atlantic, 15 permanent American members and 24 European members. They assemble the list of guests to the annual meetings. Each member invites two guests of international reputation: a politician and a businessman/professor/journalist. The final list has over 100 names each year.
Henry Kissinger, Etienne Davignon, Zbigniew Brzezinsky, George Soros, Bill Gates, and Alan Greenspan are often present at annual meetings. The June 2011 meeting in Switzerland opened without Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the embattled IMF chief. Christine Lagarde, the former French Finance Minister with alleged ties to a Chicago law firm, immediately replaced him at the helm of the IMF and at the meeting.
The last circle is composed of permanent guests and occasional ones. The occasional guests are called “innocents” because, according to Cristina, they are used by “initiates” to reach goals set by the permanent members.
The Bucharest Conference, organized by the National Bank of Romania and Governor Mugur Isarescu, numbered approximately 100 attendees, members of the diplomatic core, businesspersons, specialists in global financial strategy, and Richard Haas, president of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
Davignon did not attend the conference to calm the nervous officials and investors. He advised them to get used to the new reality as a new norm of the status quo. He urged Europeans to avoid the mistakes of the past born by faulty fiscal policies that were not sanctioned and penalized by European forums. Davignon suggested that Europe should apply penalties to those countries that have a hazardous fiscal policy, echoing Germany’s recent request.
Richard Haas, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, declared that states must get used to the “new normal,” referring to a very low and slow economic growth. He suggested that fiscal policies must be redefined and retirement and educational systems must be revised.
Richard Haas was of the opinion that politics reacted slower to various economies and markets. This should come as no surprise, he said, considering the global economic crisis, the social inequities plaguing countries to the point of crisis, and the persistently high unemployment rates.
The European Union crisis seemed to deepen as the fiscal interdependence threatened the solvency of countries that ran more conservative fiscal policies and social programs when compared to countries like Greece which had adopted very lavish social programs and unwise fiscal policies.
Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Committee for Systemic Risk, warned that it was necessary and urgent to stabilize the EU financial crisis. He added that a fund for a flexible European bailout without the involvement of the European Central Bank would be helpful.
The capacity to loan money to European governments for the financial stability of their banks should include countries that are not members of the program called the European Facility Capacity for Financial Stability, said Trichet.
EU countries have agreed to 100 billion Euros in bailout, only half of what was requested for solvency. According to experts, private creditors of Greece alone would suffer losses of over 60 percent. Angela Merkel warned that, if the EU disintegrates, dark times would follow.
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Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, Romanian Conservative is a freelance writer, author, radio commentator, and speaker. Her books, “Echoes of Communism”, “Liberty on Life Support” and “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” “Communism 2.0: 25 Years Later” are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Her commentaries reflect American Exceptionalism, the economy, immigration, and education.Visit her website, ileanajohnson.com
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