Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz reiterated their intention to restrain budget expenditure during separate speeches to a business sector conference in Tel Aviv Tuesday.

Israel’s economy remains “very strong” despite global challenges, Netanyahu declared in a pre-recorded message to the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce’s annual Economix conference. He added that in an effort to maintain this position the government will maintain “budgetary discipline” while continuing to encourage the business sector – which he called the “force that powers the Israeli economy.”

Netanyahu also spoke in detail about the importance of education, saying: “Education must assist the economy and the economy must assist education. Education without a free economy will not get very far and a free economy without education will not realize its full potential. Therefore we must integrate education and the economy in an intelligent manner.”

Steinitz, who spoke following the broadcast of the PM’s speech, warned that the global economic “crisis” was worsening and declared it “an economic world war.” He added: “Israel’s fear is different from Europe’s fear. If heaven forbid we end up in the same situation as Greece or Spain, nobody in the world will rescue us. Therefore we must be far more cautious.”

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