Swiss ministers oppose plan to haul back country’s gold reserves stored abroad

GENEVA – Swiss ministers are opposing a plan to haul back the country’s gold reserves stored abroad.

The seven-member ruling Federal Council, which includes the president, agreed Wednesday that it opposes the popular referendum expected to go before voters within several years. A “yes” vote would ban the Swiss National Bank from selling any gold reserves or storing them abroad, and require at least 20 per cent of its assets to be held in gold.

The ministers said in a statement Wednesday that parliament should recommend that people vote “no” and thereby avoid restricting the central bank’s ability to keep prices stable and the economy healthy and growing.

The bank has said that most of the country’s gold reserves are stored in Switzerland, but nearly a third is stashed in England and Canada.