A draft law tabled by ruling Social Democrat Party leaders, Liviu Dragnea and Serban Nicolae, compels the National Bank of Romania to keep 95% of Romania’s gold reserves in the country.
The bill aims at amending the Law on the BNR Statute, more precisely article 30 would be added a new paragraph.
„The National Bank of Romania can deposit gold abroad exclusively in the aim of obtaining revenues by trading and other specific operations. BNR’s gold deposits abroad cannot exceed 5% of the total gold reserves.
Current information point that, at present, BNR’s gold reserve is 65% abroad. BNR is not making any kind of revenues for this quantity of gold (…) but on the contrary, it is paying the exchange value of the deposit costs”, the two initiators argue.
Liviu Dragnea and Șerban Nicolae claim that „nothing in Romania’s economic situation is justifying anymore to keep such gold quantities abroad, for considerable costs, considering that this reserve can be kept and supplemented accordingly in the deposits in the country”.
The two PSD leaders also proposed the removal of the word „international” from the term „international reserves” in the BNR statute.
At the same time, the initiators want BNR to inform the Government and the Parliament „at once” in the case there is the risk of the dwindling of the reserves up to the level that might endanger the state’s international transactions, as well in the cases that the mitigation has already happened.
One of the initiators, PSD senator Serban Nicolae said that depositing Romania’s gold reserve in UK is prompting losses, through costs mounting to EUR 300,000. He argued that BNR must “follow” the decision when the bill will become law.
Moreover, the Social Democrats made new comments on Facebook Thursday regarding this draft law, arguing that countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland also repatriate their gold reserves.
On the other hand, Daniel Daianu, member of the BNR Administrative Board explained the reason Romania is keeping its gold reserves abroad.
“Romania’s gold must be protected as well as possible. Romania’s reserves are placed so that they can be protected, physically, but also by value. The life of a country can also face more dramatic moments than the ones that we can imagine after three decades of transition in a Europe that hasn’t known a big European war. The Bank of England cannot make operations with the BNR gold as collateral. There is respect between central banks, and the Bank of England is a venerable lady,” Daianu told Digi24.
In his turn, Liberal senator Florin Cîțu slammed the bill, calling it “ineptitude” and saying it cannot be adopted for it violates the Constitution, and also articles 130 and 131 of the EU Treaty. He says the European Central Bank will have to be notified for any amendments envisaged on the BNR Statute.
The Liberal MP has denounced that “the cheap and completely illiterate economic attempt to present PSD chairman as a real Romanian who is repatriating the gold is a mere bluff”.