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Davos "mafia" speaks about high technologies and small people

Tags: Switzerland, West, Europe, Politics, Analytics, Social networks, Internet, Technology, Economics

In Davos, everyone is worried about the "forgotten" people - participants in the World Economic Forum can even survive "a day in the life of a refugee." Large IT companies have long been favorites in Davos, but now have been accused, almost responsible for Trump's election, the dominance of "fake news" and computer addiction, notes Le Monde. Local residents "meeting rich and strong" separates, notices Focus: "According to them, this is one big mafia."

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau took the opportunity to speak at the main stage of the International Economic Forum on Tuesday to once again support the fight for women's rights, The Washington Post reports.

Like many speakers, Trudeau pointed to the profound insecurities that gripped Western societies. "The disorders we observed are caused by anxiety and fear - fear that a rapidly changing world means for workers and their families," said Trudeau. "We can not ignore our responsibility to people who are not here in Davos, and will never be," the Canadian leader said.

One of the main topics of the forum was migration and its political consequences. Participants in the WEF could even be in the position of a migrant for 75 minutes, having survived "a day in the life of a refugee," the correspondent reports.

"If nationalist politicians such as President Trump support the mythical" forgotten man "- the dispossessed, dissatisfied with the hard worker who desperately tries to regain the country by taking it away from those who have changed it - the forum deliberately tried to offer an alternative," the author writes.

Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, tried to draw attention to the true "forgotten people" and "forgotten conflicts," in particular in the Congo.

In addition to issues of identity and immigration, the forum participants repeatedly reiterated the concern expressed by Trudeau about the growing social inequality. Particular attention was paid to the so-called "prekariat" (by analogy with the "proletariat" - Ed.) - to hundreds of millions of workers around the world whose unsustainable livelihoods are at risk due to the onset of the digital age and the automation of production.

Journalist Heather Long drew the author's attention to the fact that populist leaders promise voters to "reverse" globalization. "Voters can choose even more populist leaders in the coming months or years if they are disappointed in the current months," she fears.

However, populism "can lead to war or, more likely, to establish barriers at the borders of the flow of people, ideas and goods, which has recently helped transnational corporations achieve record profits," the article says.

"Everyone is talking about an interconnected world, but we will have to recognize the fact that globalization is gradually losing its appeal," said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "The solution is not to isolate, but to understand and accept change."

Occupying a dominant position in the information field of IT companies - Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon - were under fire, writes Le Monde special correspondent for the WEF in Davos Silvia Kaufman.

For a long time they were considered pets in Davos, but today the big technology companies (Big Tech) have definitely found themselves in the position of the accused. Continuing criticism rages on them due to taxation, the use of personal data, the planned obsolescence of products, because of computer dependence, from which the leaders of Silicon Valley carefully protect their children, while encouraging it for other people, malicious programs, exploitation of traditional media content, writes the journalist.

Add "fake news" and Russia's intervention in Western election campaigns through social networks, and you will see that the responsible leaders of GAFA are beginning to feel seriously offended when they are almost guilty of electing Donald Trump, the author points out.

The annual sociological survey "confidence barometer", conducted by the American company Edelman and presented at the opening of the forum in Davos, this year shows a decline in confidence in social networks and the improvement of the image of traditional media in many Western countries, the article says.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who heads the country that supplies the battalion of engineers to the Silicon Valley, is concerned. "Technological transformations," he said on Davos's rostrum on Tuesday, "have a profound effect on how we live, think, act in politics." Technology has the ability to shape, destroy and connect, "in particular, with the help of social networks.

IBM CEO Virginia Rometti called for accountability and transparency in the introduction of new technologies: "It is necessary to be extremely clear, applying the principles regarding personal data: the consumer or customer should be the owner of their data."

However, large IT companies themselves want to bring the situation under control, since the revolution associated with the arrival of artificial intelligence is already close and it will have such an impact on society that again there will be a "question of mastering technology to put it at the service of mankind", on the expression of the head of one of GAFA. In comparison with this, the episode with social networks will seem only an obsolete part of a huge campaign, Kaufman concludes.

Financial Times correspondent Martin Arnold on the margins of the World Economic Forum interviewed the head of the Russian VTB Bank Andrei Kostin.

"We are at the beginning of a new arms race," said Kostin in Davos, "NATO is asking for more weapons and spreading more weapons in Europe, and Russia will respond in the same way. Who will benefit from this? Only generals and arms manufacturers."

Kostin said that he "does not worry" because of possible personal sanctions against himself. But he said: "Any economic sanctions against institutions ... I personally say that this would be like declaring war, I see no reason why after that the Russian ambassador stayed in Washington, and the US ambassador would stay in the cold water in Moscow". "I think it's worse than the situation of the Cold War, and it's very dangerous, and I think the Americans are playing with fire, because relations are getting bad from bad ones, and we are not responsible for this," Kostin said.

"Anyone who goes to Davos in January will see the city in an emergency condition: the locals fled, there are no tourists, and the merchants rent their premises for two weeks and for big money, or try to survive somehow," Melchior Poppe writes in Focus .

"In general, there is as much money today as 10-20 years ago, but time is in short supply now," complained Sabina S., the owner of one of the shops in Davos. "Many will fly for one day and immediately rush back to the airport."

"The influential guests, who this year belong to the president of the United States Donald Trump, the head of the concern Siemens Joe Kezer and actress Keith Blanchett, do not have time for shopping," admits Poppe.

"A week before the WEF, the whole city is paralyzed due to laborious preparation, all week after the forum everyone is dismantling." Tourists and residents are avoiding Davos throughout January - as clients they mostly fall out, "the journalist tells.

Rent a lot of exclusive space at this time can not afford many: "representatives of large concerns, sheikhs and banks compete with each other to get the best place in the city," the article said.

Some landlords prescribe in lease agreements that local residents who live in their premises or are engaged in trade should leave them for 14 days in January - with all goods and furniture.

Reto A., the manager of the ski shop in Davos, told the reporter: "I am against this whole event, for me, the WEF is one big mafia." He is not going to provide his premises at the disposal of the forum, despite the rather profitable proposals, the journalist said. "Of course, it's much easier to go with the flow and become a prostitute of the WEF," says Reto A. about the entrepreneurs who agreed to the offers of rent.

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