Who Owns Central Bank Gold in the EU?
April 4, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Italian Senate approved a motion demanding the government clarify the ownership of Italy’s central bank gold on April 3. The motion and the debate were prompted by a written response from European Central bank President Mario Draghi to Italian Members of the European Parliament Marco Valli and Marco Zanni, who had asked the ECB to clarify the issue of ownership of those gold reserves. Draghi had answered that all assets pooled in the European System of Central Banks (Eurosystem) are at disposal of the ECB, but he did not clarify who is the owner of the gold.
Thus, a parliamentary motion was put forward by the Lega and M5S factions and approved by the Senate, mandating the government to clarify the issue of ownership and also to investigate ways and means to possibly repatriate gold reserves held abroad. During the Cold War, many Western European nations spread their gold reserves among allied countries abroad, in order to protect them in case of a war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Today those concerns do not exist. As a matter of fact, several central banks, such as the German Bundesbank, started repatriating their gold a while ago. Keeping assets abroad can provoke bad surprises, as was recently seen in the case of Venezuela, where they were frozen.