Gold News

Swiss Campaign Forces Referendum on Central Bank Gold Bullion

A CAMPAIGN to prevent the sale of gold bullion by Switzerland's central bank has succeeded in forcing a popular vote on the issue.

The Swiss People's Party (SVP) has succeeded in collecting the 100,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on its so-called 'Save Our Swiss Gold' proposals, newswire Reuters reports.

The proposals include forbidding the Swiss National Bank from selling any gold, repatriating any gold held in foreign vaults, and raising the proportion of gold held as part of the SNB's reserves to 20%.

"Gold reserves aren't speculative objects for the SNB or politicians," says SVP politician Luzi Stamm.

"They belong to the people." 

A spokesman for the SNB however said that the proposals could cause problems for central bank policy.

"The SNB has considerable concerns, in particular of a monetary policy  nature, about the initiative's demands," spokesman Walter Meier said.

In September 2011 the SNB announced it was pegging the Swiss Franc to the Euro at a rate of SFr1.20, citing what it called a "massive overvaluation" of the Franc and saying it would buy Euros in whatever quantity was necessary to maintain the peg, a move which has led to the Euro making up a greater and greater proportion of SNB reserves.

Although the SVP now has its 100,000 signatures, a referendum is unlikely to happen for several years, Reuters says, and is not likely to win popular support.

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