Steinitz calls on protesters to show responsibility

The finance minister warns that Israel could end up like Greece or Spain.

"We cannot meet all the desires and demands. We live in the real world, and we still have heavy defense expenses that Norway and Sweden lack," Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz told “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal), as he called on the social protest leaders to show responsibility, not indifference to the debt crisis in Europe and the US.

Asked about the 320,000 protesters in last night's demonstrations across the country, Steinitz said, "This was an impressive civic demonstration. Irrespective of its content, if our citizens care, that has positive aspects."

Steinitz then asked the tent protesters not to ignore the global crisis. "Just as we should listen to the murmurings of the public's heart, and fight the high cost of living and high home prices, the public should listen to what is happening around the world. We're still navigating the Israeli economy in tough times. We must be responsible, act carefully and with proper caution. We must preserve the general economic policy structure and budget framework."

Steinitz promised that the Rothschild team that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu established today in response to the protesters' demands would submit its recommendations for dealing with the high cost of living by September. However, he reiterated his warning about not breaching the budget framework, saying, "Countries that used to live beyond their means are now paying dearly for it. We don’t want to end up like Greece, Spain, or other countries in the world."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 7, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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