A club allegedly bringing together some of the world's most powerful people was holding a meeting Friday in the exclusive north-eastern Spanish seaside resort of Sitges amid high secrecy and draconian security, Spanish media reported.
The Bilderberg Club was named after the Dutch hotel where it was established in 1954, allegedly to strengthen the Europe-US axis against communism.
The annual gatherings are believed to bring together dozens of political and economic leaders, royalty, and business tycoons from Europe, the United States and Canada.
More than 350 police were guarding the luxury hotel located outside central Sitges, where access roads were cordoned off, the press and the public were kept away as the four-day meeting was beginning on Thursday, the daily El Pais reported.
Secrecy surrounded the guest list, but press leaks mentioned such names as former US Federal Reserve chairman and current presidential advisor Paul Volcker, Austrian President Heinz Fischer, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.