|Germans Fret about Their Foreign Gold Reserves|
|Spiegel, 15/05/2012 (traduire en Français )|
A large portion of Germany's massive gold reserves are stored abroad, mainly in the Federal Reserve in New York. But are the bars really where they are supposed to be? A dispute has broken out over whether the central bank needs to check on its gold, or if Germany can trust its international partners.
According to German media reports, the Bundesrechnungshof has now recommended in its confidential annual audit of the Bundesbank for 2011 that Germany's central bank check its foreign gold reserves with yearly spot checks.
The Bundesbank has rejected the demand, arguing that central banks do not usually check each others' reserves. "The scope of the checks that the Bundesrechnungshof wants does not correspond to the usual practices among central banks," the Bundesbank said in a statement quoted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. "There are no doubts about the integrity and the reputation of these foreign depositories."
Some Germans even want to bring the gold reserves back to Germany. An initiative called "Gold Action" is campaigning under the slogan: "Repatriate Our Gold!" Its petition has been signed by prominent industrialist Hans-Olaf Henkel and Frank Schäffler, a parliamentarian with the business-friendly Free Democrats who is known for his euroskeptic views.
The initiative alleges that there is an "acute" danger that the German gold could be expropriated as a result of the financial and debt crisis. They argue that the German government could soon be forced to sell gold to cover the costs of the crisis.