Last Saturday, Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, and leader of the ruling League party, shook the financial establishment in Europe to its core when he called for the elimination of the Italian central bank and the country’s regulator, Consob – saying that the two institutions should be ‘reduced to zero’.Salvini also declared that the banking ‘fraudsters’ who inflicted losses on middle-class Italian savers should ‘end up in prison for a long time.
’But he didn’t stop there. Just yesterday, Salvini shocked banksters in Brussels and Rome again after he floated the idea of seizing the enormous gold reserves from the Bank of Italy, the country’s central bank according to the Financial Times, in a comment given to Italian reporters on Monday, Salvini stated that “The gold is the property of the Italian people, not of anyone else.”Italian media outlets have suggested that the populist coalition government of Salvini’s League and Di Maio’s Five Star Movement could be considering using some of the central bank’s gold reserves to fund spending plans. Salvini has said that he hasn’t looked deeply into the concept of selling the Bank of Italy’s gold reserves to finance additional government spending, but that ‘it could be an interesting idea.’
If Salvini and Di Maio were to monetize the country’s gold, it would certainly bring some much needed financial support to the populist leadership of Italy. After the US and Germany, Italy’s central bank holdings of gold reserves is the third-largest in the world. According to the World Gold Council, Italy’s gold reserves amount to approximately 2,452 tons, which according to today’s prices, amounts to around $103 billion. Salvini’s recent comments against the banking system in Italy have been regarded by EU globalists and Italian banking establishment figures as threatening to the ‘independence’ of the Bank of Italy.
The targeting the country’s central bank comes directly after the Bank of Italy issued bleak economic growth forecasts for the year ahead which contrasted numbers that underpinned the populist government’s planned 2019 budget. Last month, it was reported that Italy entered a technical recession during the second half of 2018. The Bank of Italy has slashed its GDP forecast for 2019 to a measly 0.6% in contrast to the 1% growth estimated by the government.
The European Commission has also cut Italy’s GDP forecast from 1.2% to a meager 0.2% for the year of 2019. Budget issues are likely to be a renewed source of tension between Brussels and Rome during the upcoming months. Salvini’s latest words mark the most recent in a series of intensifying verbal attacks directed toward Italian establishment figures and European technocrats abroad just ahead of next month’s EU parliamentary elections.