Israeli cabinet OKs diluting cen bank chief power

ISRAEL - Israel's cabinet on Sunday approved sweeping changes to the way interest rates are set but analysts said the plans, which include setting up a monetary council, would weaken the central bank and harm the economy.

In a victory for Finance Minister Silvan Shalom, who has attacked the Bank of Israel in recent weeks for raising interest rates, the cabinet voted 17-0 with one abstention to change the so-called Bank of Israel law for the first time since 1954.

"This will strengthen the econo