Thursday 10 July 2014

Thousands of leaders from business and politics pay €36,000 to hobnob in Davos

Thomas Molloy in Davos

Published 23/01/2013|10:56

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Members of Swiss special police forces stand on the roof of the Congress Hall of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Photo: Reuters

THE World Economic Forum kicked off in Davos today with thousands of politicians and business leaders gathering in Europe's highest city.

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Irish people expected to speak there include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former President Mary Robinson and Catholic archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

More than 2,000 soldiers are patrolling the ski resort which is almost completely cordoned off from the rest of the world for the four-day marathon. Helicopters and fighter jets were visible this morning in the clear, sunny Alps.

As delegates, who pay up to 45,000 Swiss francs (€36,000) to attend, hobnobbed with one another this morning in the crowded corridors, some themes are already emerging.

The plutocrats appear to have lost interest in the euro zone crisis and are turning instead to the question of how to restore trust in business, what Britain's role in Europe should be following David Cameroon's speech in London this morning and how to tackle the seemingly intractable problem of youth unemployment.

"Trust in our society is at a historical low," Coca Cola boss Muhtar Kent admitted this morning. "What we have to do is crack the algebra for growth."

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