Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) on Wednesday thanked State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss for his exhaustive report, “which stresses that the shortcomings in the firefighting services are the ongoing fault of all the governments,” and also highlighted Yishai's attempts to obtain more funding over the years. Yishai repeated time and again that as interior minister he is in charge of the firefighting services, but without governmental support, he could not obtain the necessary funds necessary for a reform.
Speaking at a press conference with Fire and Rescue Commissioner Shimon Romach to his side, Yishai noted that the report states the Finance Ministry should not have conditioned allocating funds with the execution of a reform in the fire and rescue services. “You cannot turn the residents into hostages,” he said.
Yishai relayed his ongoing efforts to convince the prime minister and finance minister as to the necessity to provide increased funding to the firefighting services. “The Finance Ministry objected, the government didn't approve, and the responsibility falls on the Interior Minister,” he said. “I demanded NIS 672 million, and in the end NIS 100 million was approved, which is tenfold the normal budget for the firefighting services.”