(SHTFplan.com) – This week we returned from a trip to the Eurozone where we met with a host of different people across many countries and several industries. All of the indicators we’re seeing – construction starts, bank lending, personal borrowing habits, economic growth, and even the (lack of) items in grocery store carts – suggest that Europe is on the brink, though as is generally the case, the average European has no clue what’s coming their way.
The most alarming situation we identified is one relating to the purchase of gold coins and bullion – specifically in the country of Austria – but one that will likely make its way across the EU if it hasn’t already. Unlike the United States, where gold and silver can be purchased through traditional methods like visiting a local dealer directly, or even placing an order on the internet, it is much more difficult to find a gold/silver dealer outside of Germany or Switzerland. As a result, those individuals interested in acquiring gold are left with purchasing directly from local bank branches.
Had you visited an Austrian bank three months ago, you would have had absolutely no problem purchasing a large quantity of gold/silver from the bank. You’d simply call the bank about 24 – 48 hours in advance, let them know you’re coming and how much you needed, and you’d personally pick up your order within a couple days.
A new trend in Austrian (and perhaps the rest of Europe’s) banking policies suggests that certain interested parties are attempting to control the sale and personal acquisition of gold/silver as safe haven assets. What we experienced first hand should be a wake up call for not just Europeans, but Americans as well.
The policy change was quiet, has not been reported by any media outlets that we’re aware of, and no mention of the new policies is made on the web sites of Austria’s largest banking institutions (though it is clear they vehemently comply with U.S. anti-money laundering measures and the Patriot Act)
According to the bank representatives and manager we spoke with,Austrian banks have now been ordered to restrict the sale of gold and silver bullion purchases and are limiting personal acquisitions of precious metals to 15,000€ (approximately $20,700 USD) at a time, or 11 ounces of gold at today’s prices.