Big business set to lobby politicians on the future of the EU at Bilderberg Group meeting

A planned discussion about Europe's future will include executives and politicians

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The Independent Online

The bosses of big companies will discuss Greece, the United Kingdom, and the future of Europe with politicians at this week's Bilderberg Group summit, according to a statement by the meeting’s organisers.

The combination of subjects up for discussions makes it likely that attendees will consider the circumstances of a so-called ‘Brexit’ or ‘Grexit’ from the European project.

Thursday’s meeting, to be held in high security and secrecy at an Austrian mountain resort, will be attended by top figures from industry and global politics.

Among attendees is Chancellor George Osborne, former EU commission president José Manuel Barroso, and executives from Google, Shell, HSBC, and Airbus.

Representatives of intelligence agencies and investment banks will also be present, according to a list of attendees released by organisers.

Last month Airbus, which is attending the meeting, warned that UK exit from the EU would put investment as risk. Goldman Sachs, which is also attending, said in January that it was "imperative" that Britain remains in the EU.

The meeting will be an opportunity for the bosses of big European and American countries to lobby politicians on the direction they believe Europe should take.

telfs.jpgThe high-level meeting comes at a key time for Greece, the United Kingdom, and the European project as a whole.

David Cameron has pledged to hold a national referendum on membership of the European Union before 2017.

He is currently seeking support from other EU nations to renegotiate the terms of membership to the EU.

Specific changes proposed include restriction on social security and freedom of movement for EU nationals.

Meanwhile a deal between austerity-stricken Greece and its international creditors is on a knife-edge.

Failure to achieve a sustainable deal for the Mediterranean state could see it forced out of the eurozone.

Other subjects up for discussion at the Bilderberg conference include cyber security, chemical weapons threats, globalisation and terrorism.

Artificial intelligence, Iran, NATO, and the Middle East are also on the agenda.

The secretive Bilderberg conference has been the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories due to its opaque nature. No minutes are taken nor policy statements pronounced. This year, the meeting will take place at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in the Austrian Alps.

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