The government cannot satisfy all the demands of the ongoing cost-of-living protests, nor is solving the problem the only responsibility of the government, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Wednesday.
“From what I’ve heard from the protest leadership, nothing will satisfy them…In an amazing moment of candor, one of the leaders said ‘no government could make the changes that we are calling for’,” Steinitz said. He spoke in a pre-recorded interview with business daily Globes that was broadcast at the opening of Economix.il, the Federation of Israeli Chamber of Commerce’s conference on strengthening the local business community.
Steinitz continued, “I don’t think the role of a government is only to placate its citizens. I have a lot of respect for demonstrations. Thousands going out [into the streets] within the democratic framework, in a non-violent manner, that’s a great thing. It is something that is part of our democratic fabric, freedom of speech.
“[But] alongside that, the responsibility for the Israeli economy rests on my shoulders.”
Steinitz said his main role as finance minister is to safeguard the economy, industry, trade, high economic growth and low unemployment. If Israel fails to uphold these aims, he said, it will end up in a crisis similar to that which Greece, Spain and Italy are now dealing with.