Bibi babbles with Israel’s economy

Yesterday, Pope Benedictus XVI commenced his vist of Israel, arousing a certain degree of disappointment.

Off stage, Israel’s Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, was opening himself up for criticism. Ostensibly, Bibi was in Egypt, talking with Mubarak. However, the much of the local media was concentrating on his capitulation of his economic plan.

Step back for a moment and recall. First, Bibi’s election promises included lower taxes. Second, he has appointed a finance minister who will play second fiddle to Bibi’s role of economic supremo. Third, as usual in formulating a new budget, the Finance Ministry leaked details of cuts and frightening new measures.

And what are we left with? Well, according to the papers, cuts in child allowances, hospital payments, less tax breaks for working women, etc have all flown out the window. Meanwhile, VAT could go up by 1%, a direct burden on the poorer members of the community.

It is not clear if Bibi buckled to the pressure of interest groups like rich trades unions or industrialists. However, even during his own successful term as Finance Minister some years ago, he was also known to cave in.

Which brings me back to Bibi’s meeting with Mubarak. And in a few days time with Obama, and then with the Palestinians. Bibi’s skillful oratory is not in doubt. It is his ability to deliver a safe economy and …….well long-term overall safety that concerns me more. It is time for leadership.

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One Comment on “Bibi babbles with Israel’s economy”

  1. Michael Horesh Says:

    2 hours later, the papers report on how teh trades unions have won over Bibi, as I suspected. The cabinet has voted for a budget whose base is unclear. The Chief of Staff, who never gives interviews, has let his views be known on changes in conditions for his officers. And so the list of disasters goes on, as the demise in political leadership continues.


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