Fischer Turns Down Big Raise, Says No to IMF Candidacy

Cabinet set to almost double BoI governor's salary to NIS 64,000 a month.

The cabinet will vote Sunday on raising the salary of the governor of the Bank of Israel from NIS 38,000 a month gross to NIS 64,000. But Stanley Fischer, the present governor, will not be getting a raise even if the cabinet approves, as it is expected to do.

Fischer asked that the change apply only after a new governor takes office.

Stanley Fischer
Tomer Appelbaum

Central bank officials said the purpose of the law is to enable the state to recruit a high-level replacement when Fischer leaves office.

Earlier this week, Fischer denied he was leaving anytime soon, and certainly not to take the position of chairman of the International Monetary Fund in place of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested for rape and resigned. Fischer told Bloomberg in an interview that he was not interested in the job.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has been in Paris this week for a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He told French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who is officially running for the IMF chairman's post, that Israel would support her - if Fischer were not a candidate.

Steinitz has been meeting with his OECD counterparts including the finance ministers from Norway and Greece. Steinitz invited Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou to visit Israel, and he accepted.