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Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will Friday address top world business and political leaders at an annual gathering of an elite international organisation known as the Bilderberg Group, the government said.
Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa de la Vega said he will "discusss the crisis the world is going through and the ways to face the challenges which all world economies are facing" at the meeting in the Mediterranean resort of Sitges.
"This year the reunion is being held in Spain, in Sitges, and the group has invited the head of the government because it is the tradition that the head of the government of the country where the meeting is held addresses the participants," she told a news conference following a weekly cabinet meeting.
Zapatero's address to the group comes as Spain is seeking to demonstrate the it can slash its public deficit quickly enough to avoid requiring an international rescue package like the one provided Greece earlier this year.
The group, which takes its name from the Dutch hotel where it held its first meeting in 1954, holds its invitation-only gathering each year at a different location. Last year it was held at a site near Athens.
The meeting at Sitges, an elegant seaside town near Barcelona, began on Thursday at the luxury Dolce Hotel and will wrap up on Sunday.
Past participants of the gathering have included former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, former US president Bill Clinton, current US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and top officials from IBM and Barclays.
© 2010 AFP
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