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See No Adverse Effects for Israel in Measures Taken to Ease Gold Crisis

March 19, 1968
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Israel’s financial leaders were confident today that the world gold crisis and the measures taken in Washington to alleviate it will have no direct effect on Israel’s economy. Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir and David Horowitz, Governor of the Bank of Israel, said this morning that the action by the United States and six Western European countries to establish a two price system for gold has reduced the danger of a devalued dollar and consequently of a further devalued Israel pound which is pegged to the dollar.

In an address at the Hebrew University last night, Mr. Horowitz said that the move in Washington reflected a trend toward the creation of a new medium for international payments which would be divorced from gold. Mr. Sapir told a Ministerial committee on economic affairs yesterday that a world conference of Jewish business leaders called by Prime Minister Eshkol would open here on schedule next month despite the gold crisis.

Israelis leaving for Europe on vacations or business trips are asking the banks for their foreign currency allowance in Swiss francs instead of U.S. dollars, it was reported today. The preference for other currency is a result of the rush on gold and its possible affect on the U.S. dollar in the European market, observers noted here. They said, however, that the number of travellers requesting francs is small.

(The Christian Science Monitor noted today the “surprising stability” of the Israeli market in the gold crisis and reported that “Israelis have not joined the Western European stampede into imperishable goods.” It declared that “the Israeli market has been showing unwavering confidence in the United States dollar.”)

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