Bank of Israel Governor Professor Stanley Fischer officially denied on Monday the reports that he is being promoted by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be the next president of Israel.
In a speech he gave at Tel Aviv University, Fischer said, “The professional path which I chose in my life does not qualify me to serve as president of Israel. I do not know where these rumors came from, but they are completely baseless.”
On Sunday, the Calcalist business newspaper reported that Fischer is being promoted for the job by Netanyahu. The term of current President Shimon Peres expires in 2014, when he will be 90 years old. The Bank of Israel denied the report, saying it was unfounded.
Fischer is a highly acclaimed economist, and his previous experience includes being a professor at Stanford University, chief economist at the World Bank and deputy director of the CitiGroup financial conglomerate before his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu was personally responsible for bringing Fischer to Israel as a new immigrant in 2005 to take over the helm at the Bank of Israel.
His speech on Monday evening was interrupted by a few students, who protested against the Bank of Israel’s decision to cut its interest rate for February from 2.75 to 2.5 percent.
The students claimed that reducing the interest rate would inflate real estate prices.