Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in cabinet meeting 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was expected to present his
ministerial team tasked with addressing demands of social justice and
housing protesters, just hours after the latest protest that drew over 300,000 into the streets across the country.
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Prime Minister's Office Director-General Eyal Gabbai told Israel Radio Sunday morning that the group would present its recommendations to the government within a month.
at a cabinet meeting last week, Netanyahu said the roundtable would
invite to appear before it representatives of various different sectors.
The ministers will then recommend practical plans to ease the economic
situation of the country's citizens, and bring these plans to the
cabinet for approval.
need to act seriously and responsibly in order to create changes in the
[economic priorities] and to deal with the genuine distress," Netanyahu
said. He added that he and other cabinet members are "aware of the
genuine hardship of the cost of living in Israel."
Speaking to Israel Radio Friday, Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon,
named by a Netanyahu spokesman as a likely member of the cabinet
troubleshooting team, said a solution was required even if it “cost
billions” at a time when Israel was watching the debt jitters of the
United States and parts of Europe.
Kahlon floated tax cuts and a breakup of cartels to benefit the middle class.
“If anything, this demonstration is a demonstration of trust in
Netanyahu – though that may sound upside-down: ‘Sir, we demand of you,
we insist, you know how to, you are capable of fixing this,’” Kahlon
said, noting the lack of support for the centrist political opposition.
But he faulted Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for trumpeting Israel’s macroeconomic indicators.
“On the one hand we say we have a strong economy, on the other hand
large groups of people are seeing that it is not reaching them. Hence
the frustration and the outcry,” he said.
Last week social protest leaders rejected Netanyahu's ministerial roundtable initiative.
Speaking at a press conference with Israeli media, organizers said that
dialogue should be carried out "transparently" with the prime minister
himself and not "a ministerial assembly."