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While manufacturers may be demanding government aid to compensate for the sharp drop in the dollar, they certainly have not heard a word of encouragement from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Finance Minister Roni Bar-On.

"In November we decided on a series of correct and balanced steps to provide an answer to the temporary distress in light of the drop in the dollar and its effect on the profitability of exports. I hope, as does everyone, that this is temporary," Olmert said, speaking at the conference of the Manufacturers Association.

The two also spoke about their plans for the economy. Bar-On discussed the need for fiscal discipline, further tax cuts and structural reforms. As for the dollar, Bar-On said: "A country that sees itself as a part of the club of developed nations and the global economy is committed to a free, open and accessible foreign exchange market. It is impossible on the one hand to demand openness, and on the other, ask to return to a market where the state intervenes."