Erdan blames Steinitz for halt in Carmel rehabilitation

July 25, 2011 19:24

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said that due to the Finance Ministry's refusal to fund the rehabilitation the Carmel forest, the government has postponed its decision on budgeting the restoration program for two more months, Erdan's office announced late on Sunday. Without funds for restoration, it is impossible to revive the nature and tourism infrastructure severely damaged by the fire, as well as erect a safety barricade that can prevent future spreads of flames into local communities, according to the Environment Ministry.

"It is very saddening that Finance Minister [Yuval Steinitz] is prepared to leave the Carmel that was hurt so severely by the fire, without treatment and rehabilitation operations that are required speedily," Erdan said in a statement. "The Treasury's refusal to finance a minimum sum of NIS 55 million will result in an increased risk of fire, especially now during the scalding summer."

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