Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke positively of Israel's economic recovery from the global recession at the Socioeconomic Forum organized by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry on Tuesday. He emphasized that Israeli policymakers must focus on enacting sound long-term economic policies, not stop-gap measures, if they wish to continue economic growth and strengthen the recovery.
"The way out of the economic recession is not with emergency steps but with long term [moves] over the economic horizon. [Policies] to continue growth, to reduce unemployment - to take care of the issues within the Arab and Haredi [sectors]," said Steinitz.
Paraphrasing US President Obama Steinitz also pointed out that the Israeli economy isn't out of the woods yet.
"A slow even painful recovery in the US and Europe is likely to affect us." He added, "We haven't returned to normalcy. We must continue with anti-recessionary policies - the biannual budget, and the reduction of the numbers of illegal foreign workers."
Steinitz was also keen to dispel any rumors of clashes between him and Bank of Israel head Stanley Fischer, praising the Bank of Israel for its cooperation with in maintaining a stable economy.
"We must be take care to maintain a reasonable interest rate spread between us and the rest of the world," Steinitz declared. "I am very happy with the cooperation of the Bank of Israel in the past year on this matter, even if at times things may have appeared differently."