Deri: Shas won't relinquish housing portfolio

Aryeh Deri said Likud-Beitenu has become an arrogant and insolent party that represents Russians and Ashkenazim.

"The Likud will have 30-35 Knesset seats, no more. I say this with confidence. It will need a strong Shas, which will have 15-16 seats, and then we'll negotiate," Shas co-chairman Aryeh Deri told "Globes" editor-in-chief Hagai Golan on the Globes TV "Face to Face" program today.

"Globes": Earlier this week, Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer said the main reason home prices were still climbing was the lack of supply, and the lack of supply was because of obsolete government policies by the Ministry of Housing and Construction, which Shas heads.

Deri: "There is no question that there is a problem. Ariel Atias has been housing minister for four years. Before he came, almost no land was marketed in Israel for over a decade. He came and saw the problem. A young and talented man exerted all his energy on the problem, as much as he could. He reformed the Israel Land Authority, despite huge strikes, and marketed land for hundreds of thousands of housing units."

The supply is still small.

"It can't be done overnight. It doesnt depend on him. There are other obstacles that dont depend on him. For example, skilled workers arent being imported. Is he to blame for that, or for the infrastructures or planning and building the local and district commissions stymie? He's trying. Netanyahu told me several times how talented Atias is, and it's a pity that there arent more ministers like him in the Likud. Now, all of a sudden, 'The Housing Ministry is in our hands.'"

Deri said, "There is no chance that the Ministry of Housing will not stay in Shas's hands."

As for the drafting of haredim (ultra-orthodox) into the IDF, Deri said, "I believe that a solution can be found for this. All declarations are bombastic before elections. After the elections, everyone will realize that it's impossible to draft the haredim and the Arabs by force. We must reach a settlement."

Earlier today, Deri slammed Likud-Beitenu in response to MK Avigdor Liberman's remarks to haredi daily "Mishpacha", in which he ridiculed Shas. Deri said, "Likud-Beitenu is a party of Ashkenazim and Russians."

In the statement, Deri said, "Today, we have learned who is the real boss in Likud-Beitenu. Yisrael Beitenu is making a hostile takeover of the Likud. From a people's party, Likud-Beitenu has become an arrogant and insolent party that represents Russians and Ashkenazim. They humiliated [Minister of Communications Moshe] Kahlon, and they now want to humiliate the remaining Sephardi ministers. This is a call to all Sephardim - come home, the Likud is no longer your home; Shas is your true and natural home. Only a strong Shas will save the Sephardim in the next Netanyahu government."

In response to Deri's remarks, Kahlon said, "These words are not correct. I suggest Deri finds different gimmicks and if he decides to use my name he wll at least say things that are true and stick to facts. I'm part of the Likud-Beitenu. I always have been and always will be."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 27, 2012

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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