(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this evening (Sunday), 7 August 2005, informed Minister Ehud Olmert that he intends to appoint him as Acting Finance Minister (following the resignation of Binyamin Netanyahu). He added that he intends to continue the Government’s economic policy and submit next year’s draft state budget to the Government for approval this Tuesday as planned.

Prime Minister Sharon and Minister Olmert will meet tomorrow morning in order to further discuss the work and maintaining the Government’s targets.

Prime Minister Sharon also spoke with Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer. The Prime Minister informed the Governor that his Government’s economic policy would continue unchanged; he added that it is his intention that the upcoming state budget remain within the limits of the deficit and expenditure targets that have been determined by the Government.

Governor Fischer expressed his satisfaction and expressed his full support for the Government’s economic policy. The two agreed to meet in the next few days to continue their discussion of economic policy.

Prime Minister Sharon informed Finance Ministry Director-General Dr. Yossi Bechar, Finance Ministry Budget Director Kobi Heber and Finance Ministry Taxation Authority Director Eitan Rov that he intends to continue with the Government’s economic policy; he added that the upcoming state budget would remain within the limits of the deficit and expenditure targets that have been determined by the Government. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation of their professional abilities and requested that all three remain in their positions.

The three thanked Prime Minister Sharon and informed him that they intend to remain in their positions in order to continue implementing the Government’s economic policy.