June 4, 2013
George Osborne and his Labour shadow, Ed Balls, are on a list of those attending this week’s UK summit of the secretive Bilderberg group alongside the heads of Amazon and Google, both of which are under unprecedented political pressure over their companies’ aggressive tax avoidance policies.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, and Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, will rub shoulders with dozens of other figures from the global political and financial elite at the annual four-day meeting of the organisation, this year held near Watford. The group’s lack of transparency has long caused critics to characterise it as a secretive cabal.
A list of about 140 participants, made up almost overwhelmingly of white males but described as “a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry”, was published on Monday by the organisation. It included only 14 women. The organisation said that those attending the summit at the Grove hotel would discuss topics including “jobs, entitlement and debt”, “how big data is changing almost everything” and “can the US and Europe grow faster and create jobs?”