DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: Three women angry over sexism and male domination of the world economy ripped off their shirts and tried to force their way into a gathering of corporate elites in a Swiss resort.
Predictably, they failed. The huge security force policing the World Economic Forum in Davos carried the women away, kicking and screaming.
The women, from Ukrainian feminist activist group Femen, scaled a fence and set off pink flares in the protest Saturday. Their chests were painted with “SOS Davos,” as they sought to call attention to poverty of women around the world.
Critics of the Davos forum said the business and political leaders at the gathering spent too little time doing concrete things to solve the world’s problems and help the needy.
The meeting adjourned Saturday with a warning to governments against letting their relief over an improved economic climate turn into complacency over reforms many want to see in order to sustain a still-uncertain recovery.
“Do not relax,” International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde urged at a closing panel on the economic outlook.
She said the IMF outlook for a “fragile and timid” recovery depended on officials in the powerhouse economies of Europe, the United States and Japan making “the right decisions.”
Fears over the breakup of the euro currency union have abated, while the United States has avoided the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that threatened to push the world’s largest economy back into recession.
With those bullets dodged, there are fears that governments may ease up on the measures to improve growth and reduce debt that many institutions such as the IMF are calling for.
The IMF estimates that the world economy will grow about 3.5 percent this year, modestly better than last year’s 3.2 percent. Yet the improvement is uneven. The eurozone and Japan are in recession, but the United States is growing, and emerging economies such as China are expanding much more quickly.