Bratislava, Slovakia – Despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, Slovakia won’t be bringing its gold reserves home, at least for the time being, according to reports.
Last week, former Prime Minister and head of the governing Smer party Robert Fico raised the issue of repatriating Slovakia’s 31.7 tons of gold currently stacked in the vaults of the Bank of England.
The ex-Premier, who was forced to step down last year in the wake of the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, claimed it wasn’t safe to keep the gold reserves in the U.K., citing uncertainty linked to the looming threat of Brexit.
He urged Slovak lawmakers and central bankers to consider repatriating its bullion reserves, a few days after news broke that neighbouring Poland had conducted a massive repatriation operation of 100 tons of its gold (nearly of the total reserves) from the U.K. “The gold symbolizes the strength of the country”, Polish Central Bank governor Adam Glapinski justified, although analysts point to Brexit as the main factor.
But on Wednesday, the Slovak Parliament rejected the program of the session, where this issue was to be discussed.
“This is by no means a hot issue, not even a topic for an extraordinary session, by far”, opposition MP Marian Viskupic (SaS) argued, calling for central bankers and financial experts to look more closely into the issue before lawmakers vote on it.
Despite being turned down, the repatriation of Slovakia’s gold reserves from the U.K. will remain under discussion in the coming months, with the country’s Central Bank expected to issue some recommendations on the issue in the near future.
Amid growing trade and economic uncertainties, governments around the world have turned to gold as a safe investment and symbol of financial self-sufficiency, including in Central and Eastern Europe – where officials in Poland, Hungary and Serbia, among others, have exponentially increased their gold reserves over the past two years.