'No deal on price-controlled bread'

By SHARON WROBEL
July 11, 2007 08:38

On Monday, the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee ordered bakeries to temporarily begin producing price-controlled breads and called upon the government to form a special committee to investigate and settle the matter of government-controlled bread prices.

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The shortage of price-controlled bread continued on Tuesday after Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai refused a temporary compromise deal under which the major bakeries would agree to produce only one of the regulated breads. "In our meeting with Yishai, he wanted us to produce price-controlled bread for two weeks until the government approved his proposal for compensating poor families for the necessary price hike of 12.5 percent, which we are demanding," said Yochanan Aharonson of Davidovich Bakery & Sons Ltd., who is also acting as the bakers' representative in the talks with the government. "There was a compromise proposal to produce one of the price-controlled breads for the two-week period but only on the condition that even if the compensation proposal was not approved by the government, the price of regulated breads would be raised thereafter to which Yishai did not agree." Last Wednesday, the country's major bakeries, including Angel Bakery, Davidovich, Berman's and the Alumot Bakery in Holon, decided to halt the production of price-controlled breads as mills raised flour prices by some 35-40 percent in response to the sharp rise world-wide flour prices over the last month. On Monday, the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee ordered bakeries to temporarily begin producing price-controlled breads and called upon the government to form a special committee to investigate and settle the matter of government-controlled bread prices.


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