Romania’s Ruling Party Drafts Law to Repatriate Central Bank’s Gold Reserves
The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by SeeNews
Liviu Dragnea, leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democrat Party, and Senator Serban Nicolae have drafted a bill that would require the central bank to repatriate its gold reserves held abroad.
“The National Bank of Romania can deposit gold from the established reserve abroad exclusively for the purpose of obtaining income through trading and other specific operations. The gold deposited by the National Bank of Romania abroad cannot exceed 5% of the total gold reserve,” says the draft law.
According to the statement accompanying the draft, nothing in Romania’s current economic situation justifies keeping its gold abroad, with the related costs, if it can be stored domestically.
When asked whether the government plans to use its gold reserves to cover the budget deficit (as Italy may do), Senator Nicolae denied the idea, saying the draft law only aims to recover the gold and keep it in Romania.
Gold reserves held by Romania’s central bank (BNR) totaled 103.7 tonnes and were worth 3.84 billion euro ($4.37 billion) at the end of January, according to the latest data.
According to local media reports, some 61 tonnes of BNR’s gold reserves are held at the Bank of England. Romania would need the approval of the European Central Bank (ECB) to repatriate the gold.