Amid rising prices and the worsening economy, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
asked his cabinet members to set a “personal example” and minimize their trips
The only exception, he said, was trips to China, which Netanyahu
encouraged in order to deepen Sino- Israel relations.
The issue came up
during the cabinet’s routine approval of ministerial trips abroad.
prime minister related to the economic situation at the beginning of the weekly
cabinet meeting, saying that the world was still in the midst of the worst
economic crisis it has faced in 80 years.
“These conditions are making
things difficult for the citizens of all countries, especially the developed
countries, and also for Israelis,” he said. “We need to tighten our belt in
order to maintain Israel’s economy, and that is not easy, and it presents
difficulties for the citizens, and I know that.”
Netanyahu said that
alongside the difficulties, the government was taking action to ease the
situation. He ticked off a number of steps, including free education for
children from age three, free dental care until age 12, and reform in the
cellular phone market. Those steps, he said, were “saving money for many
“The most important thing,” he said, “is that we are
maintaining the places of employment for Israeli citizens.”
To prove this
point he referred to statistics released last week by the Central Bureau of
Statistics placing the country’s unemployment rate at 6.5%, down from 7.1% and
lower than in the US, Europe and most developed nations in the
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also related to the figures,
saying that they show there was no significant increase in unemployment in the
country, and in fact there has been a decrease. He said that price increases are
“never pleasant,” but “we are taking the necessary steps to achieve two goals:
high economic growth and low unemployment.”
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