Steinitz rejects alleged role in Carmel fire

Finance minister says there is "a little confusion" about the role of Finance Ministry in national affairs.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 1, 2012 17:59
1 minute read.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Herzliya Conferen

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Herzliya Conference_390. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz responded to a reportedly scathing report of his role in 2010's disastrous Carmel Fire, saying Wednesday there may be "a little confusion" about the role of the Treasury and its minister.

"My job is to safeguard the economic strength of the State of Israel...to lead economic policy, facilitate growth and to bring about investment in the economy," Steinitz said during his address to the 12th Annual Herzliya Conference. "There was a little confusion about the nature of my responsibilities and the functions of the Finance Ministry."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.




The finance minister refused to address State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’s report on the Carmel Fire, saying he had not yet read it. Leaks of that report suggest that Lindenstrauss will recommend Steinitz along with Interior Minister Eli Yishai to resign from their posts for negligence that exacerbated the disastrous blaze.

Lindenstrauss reportedly blamed Steinitz for failing to transfer adequate funds to the state meteorological  and firefighting services in the weeks before the fire.

The finance minister on Wednesday, however, was adamant that his office has been successful, touting Israeli successes in the face of global recession.

The success of Israel is evident in its low unemployment, Steinitz said adding that the average "salary, compared to the US and Europe, went up in 2011 and 2012."



Steinitz said Israel's low unemployment was having a positive effect on the economic situation of the nation's families and citizens.

The finance minister pointed out that Israel's credit rating, if included in a list of Western European countries, was the only credit rating to go up in the same period that most European countries saw their credit ratings dropped.

Steinitz also said he was pleased with Israel's debt-to-GDP ration, which was hovering around 74 percent.

"We managed to decrease it," he said. "We preserved our position at a time when very few countries were able to do that."

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN