"The middle class can't afford for the Israeli economy to collapse," Finance Minister Yair Lapid said in an interview with Channel 2 on Thursday.
Lapid justified the budget cuts and tax hikes presented in the 2013 state budget, saying the middle class's protest against the budget is "against themselves."
"I am stopping myself from going out to the square, taking a microphone and asking them, 'who are you demonstrating against? Are you protesting in order to lose your job? Are you protesting to have your apartment lose half its value? Are you protesting to have the economy around you collapse? You are protesting against yourselves,'" Lapid said.
Lapid told Channel 2 he will run for prime minister in the next election, but that right now he is not running. "There are no elections, and there won't be on the horizon as long as it's up to me because we are making moves that will take a while, and I want to enjoy the fruits of our labor along with the public," he said.