Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a crucial meeting on Sunday with the Governor of the Bank of Israel, Prof. Amir Yaron, to discuss the possibility of extending Yaron's term, which is set to conclude at the end of the year. Despite the meeting, no definitive decision has been reached, and both parties agreed to make a final determination following the conclusion of the Tishrei holidays, with another meeting scheduled for October 15.
The Bank of Israel issued a statement after the meeting, revealing that "Governor Yaron, on New Year's Eve, urged the Prime Minister to work towards achieving broad public consensus to sustain and enhance the strength of the economy."
Sources close to the Prime Minister indicate that Netanyahu's course of action hinges on Yaron's intentions. If Yaron expresses a desire to continue for a second term, Netanyahu will seriously consider the proposition. Conversely, if Yaron opts against reappointment, Netanyahu will initiate the process of nominating economist Prof. Ephraim (Efi) Benmalach, who arrived in Israel last week and has expressed willingness to assume the position if formally offered.
Prof. Benmalach's potential candidacy for the role of Governor of the Bank of Israel came to light in a recent report by Calcalist. While confirming the report, Benmalach emphasized that discussions were at a preliminary stage, stating, "There have been inquiries over the past year, but I won't delve into specifics."
The prevailing sentiment in economic circles in recent months is that Governor Yaron is unlikely to secure a second term, largely due to his outspoken remarks warning of the economic repercussions of certain legislative initiatives. These comments had strained his relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other government officials. Furthermore, the government criticized Yaron harshly for raising interest rates over the past year to combat inflation, a move that intensified tensions between the central bank and the government.