Yacimovich calls for socio-economic unity gov’t

Labor chairwomen requests all parties to replace Netanyahu and create emergency unity gvn't to fight for "change in power."

Yacimovich 521 (photo credit: GIDEON MARKOWICZ / FLASH 90)
Yacimovich 521
(photo credit: GIDEON MARKOWICZ / FLASH 90)
With a week left until voting commences for the 19th Knesset, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich on Tuesday called on all Israeli parties to join her in an “emergency socioeconomic unity government.”
“We can replace [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and create an emergency socioeconomic unity government,” she said at her Tel Aviv campaign office, adding, “We remain the only party fighting for a change in power.”
Though polling as the second largest party – 18 in the last poll by The Jerusalem PostLabor remains significantly behind Netanyahu’s Likud Beytenu list, which polled at 34. If Yacimovich could persuade enough parties to recommend her to President Shimon Peres after the elections, he could theoretically task her with forming a coalition and leading it as prime minister.Yacimovich accused her Center-Left rivals – former foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who have refused to rule out joining a Netanyahu-led coalition – of “putting their tails between their legs” and “crawling” toward Netanyahu.
The party, which has campaigned on an economic agenda, hammered Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz over the 4.2 percent budget deficit announced this week, which was double the original projection.
“When the deficit is double what was forecast –we’re talking about NIS 39 billion.
When we divide that among the 2 million families in Israel, we find that each family has to pay NIS 1,800,” Yacimovich said.
“Netanyahu is the one who created the problem,” she continued. “The one who ruined it cannot be the one to fix it.”
Netanyahu, she continued, was responsible for rises in income taxes, value-added tax (VAT), food prices, housing prices, and electricity and water tariffs, which she said had burdened the middle class – which she called the engine of economic growth. If this does not change, she said, “the economy won’t grow and the deficit will expand. It’s so simple.”
Yacimovich said the prime minister was planning on raising taxes and VAT again, and continuing policies she said were responsible for Israel’s economic deterioration.
“It turns out he’s not a macroeconomic genius,” she added wryly.
Netanyahu said on Monday he would do “everything in his power” to avoid having to raise taxes.
Steinitz attempted to deflect criticism on the deficit Tuesday, reminding critics that Israel is still growing and had relatively low unemployment.
“In order to see the whole picture, it is worth emphasizing that even in 2012, Israel continued to lead the Western nations in two most important parameters for dealing with the global crisis,” he said.