'European crash would cause 5-10 year recession'

Finance minister says Israel preparing for "difficult scenario"; announces India trip to boost exports to developing world.

December 11, 2011 21:35
1 minute read.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (file)

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz warned Sunday that if Europe’s economy crashes “a 5-10 year recession,” would follow, not only in Europe, but in the US and Israel, as well.

Speaking at the Globes business conference in Tel Aviv, the finance minister said Israel was “ready for a difficult scenario.” Steinitz announced he would be heading a delegation leaving for India on Monday, charged with decreasing Israel’s dependence on Western nations as the market for its exported goods.

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“One of our main efforts is to push Israeli exports to the rest of the world, because 70 percent of Israel exports goes to the developed world and we are trying to encourage exports to China, India and South America in order not to be dependent only on Western nations,” Steinitz said.

He said the plan had been successful thus far, with exports to developing nations rising from 30% to more than 40% in the last two years.

Steinitz’s speech at the conference was interrupted by shouts from the crowd, who shouted the slogans: “Where is the public housing?” and “Why is every third child hungry?” Such outbursts have been a common occurrence during speeches made by Steinitz since the social justice movement began this summer.

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