Opposition leader and Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid heavily criticized the Israeli government after the credit rating agency Moody's announced a downgrade of Israel's credit outlook from 'positive' to 'stable' on Friday.
"The announcement by the credit rating agency Moody's is proof that the regime coup endangers the livelihood of every Israeli citizen. The lies and attempts to blame others won't help in this case. The facts are clear: the government led by me handed them a strong and prosperous economy and under the watch of Netanyahu and Smotrich everything is falling apart," Lapid wrote on Twitter.
"They should announce that they are stopping the legislative madness and are going to take care of the economy and the livelihood of the country's citizens," Lapid added.
Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman joined Lapid in blaming the government for the downgrade, stating "Netanyahu is destroying the Israeli economy." He added that Moody's announcement is "an economic earthquake that will have an immediate effect and will hit the pockets of all citizens in the country."
"Only in April of last year, when I was Finance Minister, Moody's raised Israel's outlook to positive, and responsibly, I left the current government with a growing economy with a budget surplus of about 10 billion NIS," Liberman continued. "And here in three months we are on the verge of economic collapse. The lack of care for the cost of living, the cheap populism, the promotion of personal interests and the order of priorities of Netanyahu and his government is costing you, the citizens of the country, dearly!"
The hi-tech workers' protest also put out a statement in response to the downgrade, writing "Moody's announcement and the criticism in it make it clear again, contrary to Netanyahu's lies, that the regime coup and the conduct of the government are harming the Israeli economy and high-tech."
"The damage to high-tech is already felt on a daily basis and the trust of investors, entrepreneurs and international companies will be difficult to restore," the hi-tech workers added. "The investors who always preferred Israel during economic crises and marveled at the national resilience during wars and missiles - today are frightened by an extremist and messianic government that is leading the Startup Nation to a moral and democratic disintegration."
They concluded by calling on the public to join their protests, which according to them "will not stop until the legislation endangering Israel is repealed."
Moody's downgrade on Friday
Global rating agency Moody's on Friday affirmed Israel's sovereign credit rating at "A1" but downgraded the outlook on the Israeli government's credit ratings to "stable" instead of "positive."
Regarding the decision to downgrade the outlook, Moody's wrote that "the change of outlook to stable from positive reflects a deterioration of Israel's governance, as illustrated by the recent events around the government's proposal for overhauling the country's judiciary... The manner in which the government has attempted to implement a wide-ranging reform without seeking broad consensus points to a weakening of institutional strength and policy predictability. As a result, the risks on Israel's rating are now balanced, leading to a stable outlook."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog spoke to officials at Moody’s before the announcement in an attempt to stop the downgrade but to no avail.
In March, rating company Fitch reaffirmed Israel’s A+ credit rating, stating the rating balances a “diversified, resilient and high value-added economy and strong external finances” against a “high government debt-to-GDP ratio, elevated security risks and a record of unstable governments.”
However, Fitch also warned that the judicial reform proposed by the government “could have a negative impact on Israel’s credit profile.”