January 25th, 2012
03:01 AM GMT
(CNN) - The woman charged with saving the eurozone will launch proceedings at Davos with the crisis weighing heavy on her mind, a day after a major ratings agency announced the Greek debt exchange deal would put the country in default.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel – dubbed her country’s “Iron Lady” – will provide the official opening address early in the evening on the first day of the World Economic Forum 2012, in the Swiss resort town of Davos.
Together with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel has been at the heart of efforts to rescue the eurozone from the debt crisis engulfing its member states. The crisis will be at the forefront of discussions on the opening day, with a session after lunch on the “new context in Europe,” addressing levels of confidence in the Greek and Italian solutions, emerging faultlines on the continent and the eurozone’s future within the European Union.
Simply reading the agenda for the World Economic Forum can be a dizzying experience. On the opening morning, the leaders of some of the world’s biggest companies will discuss the consumers and regions expected to drive demand in 2012: Coca-Cola chairman and CEO Muhtar A. Kent, and Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, will be on the panel.
Another discussion, featuring Richard N. Haass, president of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations will address the trends and transformations that will define the global security agenda, from the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise of Iran as a nuclear power and the future of North Korea.
The “dark side of connectivity” will be considered in a talk on technology’s contribution to global risks, featuring Yury Fedotov, director-general and executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
In the afternoon, a group of business leaders and global shapers, including Reuben Abraham, executive director of India’s Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions, will be brainstorming solutions for a more responsible, sustainable society.
In the evening, South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will hold a conversation with WEF founder Klaus Schwab, before joining Merkel and others to launch the WEF’s Global Shapers Community for young leaders.
For those that last the distance, the official program for the day concludes at 2330 CET (2230 GMT), allowing for a brief lull in proceedings before sessions recommence at 900 CET (800 GMT) the next day.
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