A rightwing group has submitted more than 106,000 signatures to the federal authorities, seeking a vote on stopping the sale of gold reserves held by the Swiss National Bank (SNB). It also wants gold bars stored in the US to be returned.
The group, led by members of the Swiss People’s Party, the far-right Swiss Democrats and the Lega dei Ticinesi movement, is confident a nationwide vote will be called on the issue once the signatures are verified. A date still has to be set by the government. The collection of the necessary 100,000 signatures over 18 months was hard going but a last-minute effort ensured they reached the goal in time, activists said on Wednesday. People’s Party parliamentarian Luzi Stamm criticised the sale of gold reserves which started 13 years ago following a decision to abandon the gold standard.
The initiative also seeks to enshrine in the constitution a clause obliging the central bank to keep a minimum of 20 per cent of its assets in gold, twice the current level.