The World Gold Council has today published its research report Italy considers gold as an alternative to austerity.
The study revealed that Italian business leaders (92%) and citizens (85%) overwhelmingly agree that the nation’s gold reserves have an important and positive role to play in the country’s economic recovery. Only 4% of citizens and business leaders would support the sale of Italy’s gold reserves, while 52% of citizens and 61% of business leaders would endorse using, but not selling, national gold reserves.
The report is based on research commissioned by the World Gold Council and carried out by Ipsos MORI, the independent research firm. It incorporates the views of a representative sample of 1,009 Italian citizens aged 16-70, plus a separate study of 300 Italian business leaders1. It captures public sentiment in relation to Italy’s economic recovery.
There is also broad support for an economic policy which seeks to stimulate growth, according to the research, with 59% of the general public and 60% of business leaders favouring such an economic policy. A further 36% of citizens and 25% of business leaders preferred an approach which blends both growth initiatives and austerity measures, with only 4% supporting austerity in isolation.
Natalie Dempster, Director of Government Affairs at the World Gold Council said:
“This report underlines the significant level of support among the Italian population for a renewed focus on growth and a rejection of austerity, sending a very clear message to the new government. It’s also clear from the research that people believe Italy’s national assets should be working harder. One way to achieve this would be a controlled programme which uses state-owned infrastructure, gold and shareholdings to stimulate economic growth.”
The report particularly highlights the role that Italy’s gold reserves could play in supporting economic growth. While the outright sale of national gold reserves would not meet the required level of funding, using gold as collateral for a gold-backed bond could help Italy raise around 80% of its two year refinancing needs.
The research forms part of a broader body of work carried out on behalf of the World Gold Council by independent organisations and renowned academics into the role gold can play as a foundation in the global financial system.