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Fico unveils plan to repatriate Slovakia's gold back from the U.K.

posted onDecember 4, 2019

Slovakia just joined a host of Central and Eastern European countries seeking to repatriate their gold reserves. Robert Fico, Slovakia's former premier and leader of the ruling Smer party, said parliament should force the central bank to bring back the nation's gold stored in the Bank of England because of  instability stemming from Brexit and and upcoming unprecedented economic turmoil 

“You can hardly trust even the closest allies after the Munich Agreement,” Fico, who served as Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2012 until his resignation in 2018,  told reporters. “I guarantee that if something happens, we won’t see a single gram of this gold. Let’s do it as quickly as possible.” 

The Smer-SD chief also pointed out that the rate of return stands in the area of 0.2-0.4%, describing this as “nothing”. As he said  he would rather have the gold “at home” and under control. 

More than 30 MPs will submit his proposal to parliament, asking the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), to take all  the legal and technical steps, including transfer and storage. 

Slovakia has 31.7 tonnes of gold worth €1.3bn stored in the Bank of England,  TASR newswire reported. 

Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Romania have already decided to withdraw their gold from England,  he added.

Slovakia gold

Poland repatriated £4bn (€4.7bn) worth of gold bars according to central bank governor Adam Glapinski who said he wanted to demonstrate the strength of his nation's $586 billion economy.

G4S, which carried out the operation said in a statement on Nov. 28 that 100 tonnes of gold from London’s Bank of England were transferred to the Narodowy Bank Polski, Poland’s central bank. On the UK side, 8,000 bars were carefully counted, prepared and packaged at a purpose-built G4S gold storage facility in London. They were then loaded into high-tech armoured trucks. 

Since Germany unveiled its plan to repatriate gold reserves held at the New York Fed and the Banque de France in 2013 , there have been a number of countries following suit.

Earlier this year, Romania’s parliament approved legislation to repatriate the country’s foreign gold reserves from the U.K. Those plans were put on hold when the government headed by PM Viorica Dancila of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) was ousted in October. 

In Turkey, official gold reserves, including deposits and swaps, increased 2.7 percent to $26.6 billion, compared to September, according to central bank in Ankara.

Serbia has also boosted its bullion reserves. The Balkan country's central bank purchased nine tons in October. 

With increasing geopolitical insecurity, the move by nations to ramp up holdings of the safe-haven asset is not surprising. For some analysts this speaks clearly to a view of an impending financial crisis and for some quite simply the major play in a supply / demand dynamic.