Olmert: Agreement on extent of safety net can be reached by day's end

Prime Minister Olmert on Monday expressed confidence that an agreement with the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel (BOI) over the extent of a safety net plan for pension funds would be reached by the end of the day. Coming out of a meeting with BOI Governor Stanley Fischer, Olmert warned that further delay could jeopardize the plan. "Agreement on the pension safety net can be reached today," Olmert said, predicting that the plan would be brought before the cabinet for approval in the coming days. "The plan should be introduced soon, and every delay can cause it to fail." The Prime Minister's Office announced that "the Prime Minster has full confidence in the professional judgment of the Bank of Israel governor and the finance minister, and has instructed his office to maintain professional cooperation with officials in the Treasury and the Bank of Israel, while refraining from unnecessary disputes, which can be bridged with good will and flexible thinking." Representatives of the Treasury, Bank of Israel and PMO are set to meet again Monday evening in order to hammer out an agreement over the safety net plan.