Text size

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met yesterday with finance minister Roni Bar-On, top people at the Finance Ministry and central bank, and Manuel Trajtenberg, who heads the National Economic Council, to discuss details of the safety net to protect pension and provident fund savings. The meeting was still in progress at press time.

Earlier this week Olmert stunned the heads of the treasury with his own plan. The treasury had intended to present their own plan today, the details of which have been pored over in recent weeks.

"I have drawn up my own plan to protect pension savings," Olmert said. "It's important that such a decision not be left to a few civil servants in the treasury."

His comment raised hackles in the treasury, and heads of the ministry expressed concern that Olmert's plan would be haphazard, irresponsible and cost state coffers too much.

Before convening the meeting, Olmert's office clarified that the prime minister is firm in his decision to handle the issue personally, and that the process would include consultations and the weighing of alternatives.