Buba opposes backing EMF with gold

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Bundesbank would oppose any government initiative to use its gold reserves as backing for a European Monetary Fund (EMF), a spokeswoman said.

German magazine Focus reported on Saturday that the finance ministry was considering the possibility of euro zone countries using their central banks’ gold reserves to back an EMF.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s central bank said she was not aware of any such plans but the Bundesbank would resist them.

She added that it was up to the Bundesbank to decide autonomously about the use of its gold reserves and not the government or the European Central Bank.

The German Finance Ministry declined to comment on the report by Focus.

“A proposal from the finance ministry suggests pooling the gold reserves of the former central banks of euro zone countries in a stabilisation fund,” Focus said.

According to Focus, Greece, which is currently battling a debt crisis, still has around 112 tonnes of gold, while the Bundesbank has 3,407 tonnes with a market value of around 90 billion euros (82 billion pounds).

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday repeated his call for a fund which could, as a last resort, offer help to euro zone states facing bankruptcy.

EU policymakers have been debating ways of providing support for Greece and other troubled euro zone members.

Reporting by Andreas Framke; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Greg Mahlich