Bank of Israel governor announces resignation
Bank of Israel (BOI) Governor Stanley Fischer announced Tuesday he will resign at the end of June, after eight years in the post and nearly two years before his term is due to end, DPA reported.
A Bank of Israel statement gave no reason for the resignation.
The Jerusalem Post daily quoted "sources at the Bank of Israel" as saying that Fischer, 69, had not expected to see out his term. According to the unidentified sources, Fischer had decided before Israel's January 22 elections to leave his post, but delayed the announcement until after polling day.
Israel's Channel 2 television reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had offered Fischer the post of Finance Minister in Israel's next government, and had wanted to announce the appointment before the elections. Fischer declined the offer, the report said.
A highly-regarded former chief economist at the World Bank and a former first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Fischer was appointed BOI Governor in 2005, and moved to Israel to take up the post.
He was given a second five-year term in 2010.
Fischer is widely credited with steadying Israel's economy through the global financial downturn of the past years.
Netanyahu, who met with Fischer on Tuesday, credited the governor with playing "a major role in the economic growth of the State of Israel and in the achievements of the Israeli economy."
"His experience, his wisdom and his international connections opened a door to the economies of the world and assisted the Israeli economy in reaching many achievements, during a period of global economic crisis," the premier said in a statement issued after Fischer announced his intention to step down.
Fischer was born in what is now Zambia in 1943, and grew up in today's Zimbabwe before moving with his family to the United States. He was educated at the London School of Economics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2011 he applied for the post of International Monetary Fund managing director, but was prevented form competing because of his age.