Dangerous times are coming, and the world cannot continue to live where it left off before the epidemic; for these reasons, gold reserves and the requisite security that comes with it are needed, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a press conference with the Central Bank Governor at the Magyar Nemzeti Bank’s (MNB) logistics center in Budapest on Tuesday.
Orbán, after viewing the gold reserves held by the MNB in the company of the Central Bank Governor, emphasized that in order for people to have money, it is necessary for money to have value, and the value of money is guaranteed by three things: gold, central banks, and governments.
The Prime Minister thanked Governor György Matolcsy for providing the MNB with this reserve and security. He recalled that a few years ago, they became aware that a movement had begun in the gold market, and that central banks’ gold buying and reserve policies had changed. They followed the line of thinking that, while there is money in the market and credit is plentiful, these are also times when it is not safe to rely on credit alone, Orbán continued.
Therefore, according to the Prime Minister, the government, respecting the independence of the Central Bank, said “let there be more and have it at home” (referring to the county’s gold reserves), but it was no longer the government’s power to decide how much more and when it should be brought home.
Orbán also said it had taken years to bring gold stocks home from traditional storage places, and in Hungary not only cash but also gold is kept under the most modern international security conditions. This is not a “shack”, he said, as Hungary is also in a very competitive position in the world of technology.
Central Bank Governor György Matolcsy said it was a special and joyful moment now that the nation’s gold has returned home and Hungary’s gold reserves have increased. He thanked all those who participated in the repatriation of 63 tons of gold that arrived in Hungary in the past year. Indeed, Matolcsy confirmed that this is a very special moment in economic history, because Hungary’s gold reserves have never been so high.
Orbán recalled that in 2018, the Central Bank decided to increase Hungary’s gold reserves tenfold on the strategic advice of the Prime Minister, and then another expansion was decided last year, so that currently the gold reserves are 94.5 tons.
He pointed out that with this, “we can sustain ourselves”, as Hungary jumped from 56th to 36th place in the ranking of gold reserves in the world, and the country moved from sixth to third place in the region, with only Poland and Romania having larger gold reserves. At the same time, he continued, Hungary became a leader in the region’s gold reserves per capita. He indicated that every Hungarian “owns” 0.31 ounces of gold, which is already a respectable number, but still a third of the Austrian value, so there is still a ways to go.
Orbán believes that gold is still very important and could easily become even more important in this decade. Gold is a matter of national strategy – an economic strategy – a line of defense. Whoever has gold does not belong to anyone – he or she keeps gold without obligation, Orbán stressed. He stated that the Hungarian gold reserve plays a very important role in the total Hungarian foreign exchange reserve, and thus it is a security and strategic defense tool.
Title image: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (L) and Central Bank Governor György Matolcsy at a press conference at the bank’s logistics centre. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)