Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai to immediately begin working on a solution to the "bread crisis" facing the country. "In a country that suffers from welfare problems, the current situation is inconceivable," he said in a statement. "We must find an immediate solution to stop the crisis." Rabbi Metzger also addressed bakers and bakeries, saying that while he understood the problems they were protesting, "you must immediately halt the extreme steps you have taken. Your desire to put pressure on the government by stopping production of subsidized bread is only harming the poorer socioeconomic groups and families [with many children]. There is no moral justification for this - and certainly not in a Jewish state." Bakeries stopped producing low-priced breads last week in protest of the refusal by the minister of industry, trade and labor to raise bread prices.