France may be next in line to bring its gold back

France wants its gold back

Eiffel Tower and Golden Statue from Tracadero Square.

The current frontrunner for France’s presidency, Marine Le Pen, has asked the central bank to urgently repatriate its gold reserves and immediately discontinue any gold sales programmes.

In a letter (in French) sent to the governor of the French Central Bank, Le Pen called for a complete audit of the country’s inventory — 2,400 plus tonnes of physical gold— to determine where exactly they are currently stored.

The leader of the far-right Front National party also demanded a gradual reallocation of a portion of foreign exchange reserves within the bank, recommending that the central bank buy gold at each significant decrease in spot pricing.

The move comes only days before the Swiss go to the polls to decide whether their central bank should hold 20% of its reserves in gold, and on the heels of the Dutch disclosing a secret repatriation of 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.

The repatriation trend began in 2011, when then Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez brought back most of the nation's reserves, the largest in South America.

Germany followed shortly after, but failed to bring all its reserves back.

France is the world's fifth-largest holder of gold, only behind the U.S., Germany, the IMF and Italy. Based on The World Gold Council's latest central bank holdings report, the country has 2,435.4 tonnes of gold, accounting for 65% of its reserves.

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