G7 Summit

Merkel’s Bavarian Brouhaha

Welcome to Bavaria. Source: Handelsblatt/mauritius images
Welcome to Bavaria.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The wrong players are meeting in the wrong place to discuss the wrong issues at the G7.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The G7 Summit includes leaders from Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Russia was excluded in March 2014 over its role in the Ukraine crisis.
    • An estimated 19,000 police officers will be on hand to protect seven politicians from about 30,000 G7 opponents.
    • A taxpayers group calculates that the money spent on the two-day summit would pay for 150,000 children to go to nursery school for one year.
  • Audio

    Audio

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You might think an innkeeper from Bavaria was an expert on world politics, after all the media coverage in the last few weeks. Wherever you look, the weather-beaten face of Dietmar Müller-Elmau beams back at you.

The 60-year-old owns the five-star hotel Schloss Elmau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. The world’s supposedly most powerful leaders will meet there this weekend for the Group of Seven summit.

The host is actually German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but that doesn’t bother the king of the castle. Mr. Müller-Elmau has been using preparations for the summit to promote himself in a big way.

Meantime, his self-proclaimed “luxury spa and cultural hideaway” has been turned into something of a modern high-security wing in an Alpine fortress. The area is so heavily guarded and cordoned off that holidaymakers will have to avoid most Alpine passes this weekend.

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