Author: Paul Ploumis
27 Nov 2014 Last updated at 02:40:40 GMT
(Kitco News) - France could be next on the list of countries that wants to take its gold back, if the leader of a far-right political party has her way.
Tuesday, Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National party of France, who is also the front runner to potentially be France's new president, penned an open letter, in French, to Christian Noyer, governor of the Bank of France, requesting that the country's gold holdings be repatriated back to France.
The monetary institution that you lead has historically served as the reserve central bank for France's monetary and gold reserves. In our strategic and sovereign vision, these do not belong to the state, nor the Bank of France, but to the French people, which serve as the ultimate guarantee of public debt and our money],” she wrote.
Not only does Le Pen want to see the gold back in France but she also recommended that the central bank take advantage of the recent price drop and buy more gold, boosting reserves by another 20%. She also recommends that the central bank never sell its gold reserves.
Finally, Le Pen also asked that an independent body be allowed to audit the country's current holdings of 2,435 metric tons.
According to data from the International Monetary Fund, France has the fifth largest gold reserves in the world, making up 65.3% of its total foreign reserves.
A September poll, conducted by Ifop, showed strong support for Le Pen as a potential presidential candidate and could beat current president Francois Hollande in a "hypothetical” second-round runoff. Of course, France's next presidential election won't be held until 2017.
Le Pen's request comes only a few days after Holland announced that it repatriated 122.5 metric tons of gold, worth about $5 billion dollars back to Amsterdam from the U.S.
The Netherlands currently holds 612.5 metric tons of gold, presenting about 54.1% of its total foreign reserves.
According to the central bank, 31% of its reserves are now held in Amsterdam and it maintains some gold reserves outside of the country with about 31% still in New York with the Federal Reserve;20% is with the Bank of Canada and 18% is with the Bank of England.
"In addition to a more balanced division of the gold reserves...this may also contribute to a positive confidence effect with the public,” the Dutch central bank said in a statement.
Courtesy: Kitco News