Chair of Slovakia’s Biggest Party: U.K. “Can Hardly” Be Trusted with Nation’s Gold
Slovakia’s former premier told parliament it should force the central bank to repatriate the nation’s gold, which is stored in the U.K. He said history has shown that allies “can hardly” be trusted.
Ex-Premier Robert Fico now chairs the biggest party in Slovakia. He seeks a special parliamentary session on the issue, claiming the gold isn’t safe in the U.K. because of Brexit and a possible global economic crisis.
“You can hardly trust even the closest allies after the Munich Agreement,” he told reporters. The Munich Agreement was a 1938 pact by France, the U.K., Italy and Germany, enabling Adolf Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia. “I guarantee that if something happens, we won’t see a single gram of this gold. Let’s do it as quickly as possible.”
Slovakia is due to have a general election in three months. Fico is depending on a wave of nationalist sentiment that has appeared in many European Union nations, including Slovakia’s neighbors Poland and Hungary.
Peter Majer, Slovovakia’s central bank spokesman, did not comment on Fico’s statements. Slovakia has 31.7 metric tonnes of gold with 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) and actively trades it.
Poland’s government repatriated 100 tons of the metal. Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has led the country’s purchases of the safe-haven asset. Hungary’s gold reserves increased tenfold last year.
“Gold is a symbol,” said Vuk Vukovic, a political economist in Zagreb. “When states purchase it, people everywhere see it as a sign of economic sovereignty.”