The G8-Summit is to be held in Heiligendamm, Germany from June 6th to June 8th 2007. The high costs for security measurements are bringing the hosting state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania to the brink of bankruptcy. Massive protests are expected to accompany the summit.

For about thirty years now, the heads of the eight leading industrial nations, France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, Russia and the United States are meeting annually at the so called G8-Summit to discuss economic, as well as global issues, such as terrorism and climate change.

The meetings are informal, thus meaning, no contracts are signed. Instead, declarations of intend are adopted. Yet, the economic and political resolutions passed effect not only summit members, but the rest of the world. Especially the recent discussions on development issues had an impact with disastrous consequences for third world countries.

Germany assumed the G8‘s rotating presidency this year. Believing, the summits agenda has become too broad, German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to “get back to the roots” of the economic summits of the 1970s and return the groups focus to global economy.

After hosting summit meetings 1978 and 1985 in Bonn, 1992 in Munich and 1999 in Cologne, the fifth G8-Summit in Germany is to be held in the small town of Heiligendamm, which is famous, beyond Germany’s borders, for its classical architecture.

Heiligendamm, at the coast of the Baltic Sea in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania used to be an exclusive seaside resort for Europe’s aristocracy. After the Second World War, the government of the GDR opened the resort for the public. Nowadays most of the seaside and the surrounding land are owned by a real estate agency that opened a luxury spa, making Heiligendamm what it originally used to be, a seaside resort for (Europe’s) elite.

Today, four month prior to the summit, Heiligendamm is basically a prohibited area to the public. Journalists and tourists, trying to enter the region are being checked by police. Especially the maximum security zone around the five stars plus Kempinski Hotel, where the participants of the summit are to stay, is off limits for about everyone.

The town is being surrounded by a 2.5 Meter high fence, with a length of more than twelve kilometres, which equals about twenty-one miles. It is equipped with cameras and sensors and topped with barbed wire. In addition, the fence extents fifty centimetres underground, to prevent protesters from entering the restricted area.

This fence alone costs taxpayers more than 12.5 million euro, too much for the notoriously bankrupt state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. In order to not endanger the holding of the summit, the state parliament was forced to rearrange this years budged.

The high security fence is only one part of the tight knit security system, which is supposed to ensure the safety of the world’s most influential politicians, attending this year’s summit. Only little is known about the security- and surveillance measures, for and during the conference. If it was to German officials, little more would be published.

It is certain though, that the G8-Summit in Heiligendamm will be the cause to the most extensive police operation in the history of Germany. More than 16.000 police forces from all over the Republic are ordered to Heiligendamm in June. The costs for the police operation alone are an estimated 34 million Euros.

In total, the costs for the spectacle will sum up to about 100 million Euros. Mecklenburg-West Pomeranias share has not yet been estimated. It is almost certain thought, that the state with one of the largest household deficits in the Federal Republic of Germany will not be able to raise that amount of money.

The reason for such extensive investments in security is the growing discontent among the population, with the way the leading industrial nations are forcing their political and economic structures and policies upon the rest of the world.

Globalisation critics and Non-Governmental Organisations are planning numerous counter events, such as a mass protest in the nearby town of Rostock, for which Europe’s largest globalization-critic protest movement ATTAC awaits 50.000 participants, and a counter congress debating climate and energy issues.

Furthermore blockades of the major streets leading to and from Heiligendamm and smaller protests in Rostock as well as along the fenced in, prohibited area were announced. The chief of the Federal Criminal Police office said, up to 100.000 protesters were expected.

The newly formed G8-Protest-Alliance consists of development- and ecological-policy associations, various religious organisations, labour unions, antiracism and antifascist groups, as well as numerous left-wing organisations.

The G8-Summit 2007 has major impacts on the hosting region and its people, even months before it is held. It is to wait and see, what effects the informal agreements of the eight leading industrial nations, will have on the 174 nations excluded from this circle.