Davos 2018: Heavy snow scuppers left-wing groups' planned protests

Robin De Peyer
Opposing views: Banners draped over balconies at Davos in Switzerland: EPA

Left-wing groups planning to stage a protest during a gathering of economic leaders in Davos have been scuppered by heavy snow.

Organisers of the World Economic Forum, which begins on Tuesday, rejected a request to hold a demonstration, claiming snowfall in recent days means there is not enough space.

Davos officials said in a statement that "the extremely tight space situation due to the enormous amount of new snow doesn't allow for a rally in the coming days".

The demonstration had been planned for Thursday by members of Switzerland's Social Democratic Party and Green Party.

Snowy: Davos has been hit with heavy snow before the summit (EPA)

The planned protest in the Swiss Alpine ski resort was timed to coincide with US President Donald Trump’s scheduled arrival on Thursday, a day before the world’s top political and economic leaders meet.

The Swiss military is stationing 4,377 troops in and around Davos, Switzerland, to provide security for this year's meetings at the World Economic Forum, which is set to be headlined by Mr Trump.

Security: A police officer at Davos for the start of the World Economic Forum (EPA)

Around 93 per cent of the military on display are conscripts. The Swiss air force is providing 2,580 troops, while 1,600 are infantry and 187 are from the military police.

In light of the heavy snow that is falling around Davos, military and police officials are not sure how many people are preparing to protest against Mr Trump's visit.

There is some uncertainty about Mr Trump's attendance, however, in light of the US government shutdown in Washington.

Out in the cold: A Swiss official in Davos (EPA)

The founder of the World Economic Forum said he hopes Mr Trump's planned visit to a gathering of world decision-makers and elites in Davos later this week will "provide him even better with a global perspective".

Klaus Schwab said: "It's good to have the president here, if the snow conditions and the situation in Washington allow us."

The White House has said Mr Trump plans to detail his America First policy in Davos. More than 60 heads of state and government, plus hundreds of business leaders, academics, policy advocates and celebrities are expected for the Tuesday-Friday meeting.