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Fears that “dangerous” Switzerland referendum could spark gold rush

The Swiss like referendums: there were 11 last year and there have been nine more this year, on subjects ranging from who pays for abortions to whether the state should buy a certain type of new fighter aircraft.

This Sunday there are three more, but one has attracted more attention than most – because there are fears that if it wins majority support it could trigger a worldwide gold rush.

Five million Swiss voters are to decide on a proposal that would force the central bank to triple its gold reserves. The vote is being watched closely by financial markets and governments around the world.

Under the “Save Our Swiss Gold” initiative the Swiss National Bank (SNB) would be obliged to hold at least a fifth of its assets in gold within five years. The bank would be required to repatriate all Swiss gold held abroad and be banned from selling any of its holdings in future. Read more here