"I wish to thank the prime minister and finance minister. The Israeli market and the Bank of Israel face no small amount of challenges which need to be addressed in the coming years. I am sure that together with (the BOI's) dedicated staff we will succeed in moving forward with important issues."
- Karnit Flug named Bank of Israel governor
- PM lampooned for failing to fill top central bank job
- Frenkel withdraws BOI bid amid 'shoplifting' scandal
"I was in favor of Karnit Flug from day one," Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Channel 10 News Sunday. "I discussed the issue with Netanyahu and we managed to reach an agreement. It's the right decision… she will be an excellent governor."
Dr. Flug (Photo: Gil Yochanan)
The finance minister addressed the selection process, saying the process "was terrible. I have no problem apologizing to her (Flug) if it will make everybody feel better," Lapid said.
Dr. Flug was chosen over Prof. Mario Blejer, Prof. Zvi Eckstein, Victor Medina and Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, and will be the first woman to serve as Israel's BOI governor.
Earlier Sunday, President Shimon Peres spoke with Dr. Flug and congratulated her for the appointment. "You come with a huge credit card to run the Israeli economy," said Peres to Flug.
In response, Dr. Flug said: "The economy and Bank of Israel are faced with great challenges that I am sure we can handle. I am happy for the trust that the prime minister and the finance minister have put in me, and I will do everything to justify that trust, and aid the Israeli economy and society to face great challenges."
Opposition Chairwoman Knesset Member Shelly Yachimovich also commented on the appointment Dr. Flug and said that she "takes her hat off" to Prime Minister Netanyahu for making the call.
"Flug is the most experienced, qualified and suitable candidate for the role, even if I do not agree with all her positions. Despite the fact that the appointment process was flawed, it took courage of Netanyahu to admit his mistakes and work to correct them," Yachimovich said.
Reuven Rivlin (Likud), who serves as a member on the Knesset's Finance Committee, added: "Karnit Flug is a worthy appointment. The experience she accumulated places her with other federal banks' governors and allows her to fill the shoes of her predecessor, Stanley Fischer."
Former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, who recommended Flug succeed him upon his resignation, congratulated the prime minister and finance minister for eventually appointing her.
"I know that the decision was not easy, but I know that all along, (Netanyahu and Lapid) searched for the most suitable candidate for the benefit of the economy. Karnit was a major source in the making of important decisions, which trained her to serve as a worthy governor and I wish her and the Bank staff the best of luck," Fischer said.
State Comptroller Judge Joseph Shapira called Dr. Flug and congratulated her on the appointment. Shapira, currently in a conference in Bejing, wished her luck in her new role.
Noam (Dabul) Dvir, Moran Azulay and Amnon Atad, Gil Kalian, Chen Pundak from Calcalist contributed to this report.
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