Lapid and Steinitz at Finance Ministry handover 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The new ministers of the Finance and Industry, Trade and Labor ministries took
their positions at official handing-over ceremonies on Tuesday, and the outgoing
ministers wished them luck.
At the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry,
which is to be renamed the Economy and Trade Ministry, outgoing minister Shalom
Simhon praised his successor, Naftali Bennett, saying he was proud that an
important economic ministry would be led by a prominent politician.
pleased to be replaced by a man with values like you,” Simhon said. The task
ahead would be formidable, he said.
Bennett would have to set the country
on a path to create 700,000 jobs in the next seven years, he
Bennett said the cost of living was the greatest challenge facing
Israel. It was anti-Zionist because it deters people from coming to live in
Israel, he said.
At the Finance Ministry, the incoming minister, Yair
Lapid, thanked his predecessor, Yuval Steinitz, for his service.
finance minister is particularly hard for good people,” Lapid said. “The
impressive thing, Yuval, is that even those who oppose you know you are a good,
Steinitz wished Lapid luck in carrying the “50-ton” burden
of the position, saying the important policy goals were low unemployment and
“That’s the name of the game,” he said. “On that, every
finance minister in the world is tested.”
“Unemployment is people,” he
added. “Unemployment isn’t macro. It touches hundreds of thousands of people and
Steinitz said he left the position with the satisfaction
of knowing that unemployment was at its lowest level in years.
Ministry directorgeneral Doron Cohen told Lapid: “You are coming into the
position of lobbyist for all the people, from which each sector wants money.
When you give it, remember, it’s from the pockets of the people.”