Despite Weak Dollar, Olmert Says No to Aid for Exporters

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."