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Israel Central Bank Chief To Step Down In June

"He was willing to use interest rates as a tool. Previous governors saw interest rates only as a way to battle inflation. He also used them to prevent unemployment and recession," Plocker said.

"No man is irreplaceable, but his departure is a huge loss to the Israeli economy," he said.

Fischer faced some criticism from those who said his low interest rate policy contributed to a surge in Israel's housing prices. Plocker countered that the effect was negligible, and a lack of supply was the main cause of the housing crisis.

His successor will face significant challenges, including the still skyrocketing real-estate market, shielding the country from the European economic crisis and coping with a larger than expected government deficit that could well bring deep cutbacks.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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