Why was Italy singled out? According to the Wall Street Journal, Italian citizens are preparing to take control of Italy’s gold reserves. During the past few years, a multitude of small investors lost billions of dollars due to the failure of several Italian banks. The Bank of Italy is seen as an elitist, inefficient entity indifferent to the needs of ordinary people. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio is leading the attack against Italy’s central bank, along with the “5 Star Movement” and the nationalist “League,” all of whom blame the countries financial woes on the incompetence of the central bank.
The 5 Star Movement is asking Italy’s Parliament to approve measures that would allow private banks to sell their share in The Bank of Italy at 1930’s prices. Taking it a step further, they are also demanding that ownership of the Bank of Italy’s 2,451.8 tons of gold be taken over by the country’s citizens and spent on populist policies. The current value of these gold reserves is $102 billion.