Switzerland’s leading newspaper, 20 Minuten conducted an online poll earlier this week asking readers how they would vote on the upcoming “Save Our Swiss Gold” referendum on November 30th. The majority of Swiss citizens said “yes.”
The “Save Our Swiss Gold” movement began more than two years ago but only this year finally began to gain momentum. In August, the Swiss People’s Party announced that they had gathered enough signatures to bring the referendum to ballot.
An integral part to Switzerland’s direct democracy is that the people may petition the government for a vote.
If passed, the referendum would:
- Prevent the Swiss National Bank from selling Swiss gold
- Require 20% of the bank’s assets to be held in gold
- Call for the repatriation of all foreign-held gold reserves
The poll conducted by 20 Minuten revealed that of the 13,000 respondents, 45% would vote yes, 39% intend to vote no, and 16% were still undecided. This was the first national opinion poll conducted on the matter.
Even if the referendum passes however, there still may be roadblocks in the way of returning all of the Swiss gold. The initiative would have to be approved by the majority of Swiss Cantons before it became law.
The Swiss National Bank and government of Switzerland have put forth extensive propaganda campaigns to convince citizens to vote “no” next month.
UBS analysts announced earlier this month that if the referendum did pass, the national bank of Switzerland would have to purchase 1,500 tons of gold over the next five years at an estimated cost of between 67 and 83 billion dollars. That would be more than half of the worldwide gold production each year.
According to the World Gold Council, Switzerland currently has just over 1,000 metric tons of gold which makes up 7.8% of its foreign reserves.