Full Text Israel Political Brief April 22, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on Increasing Economic Competitiveness & Earth Day



PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 4-22-12

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Today I will submit for Cabinet approval the recommendations of the committee on increasing competitiveness, what is known as the cartelization committee.  We want to increase competitiveness in the economy by reducing cartelization, by reducing or cancelling cartels and monopolies.  When there is more competition, prices go down.

We are doing things that have not been done here for years.  For years limiting cartels and monopolies was talked about, but we are taking action.  In the last one-and-a-half years important work has been coordinated between me, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, my economic advisor, Eugene Kandel, Finance Ministry personnel, Prime Minister’s Office personnel and others.  There are here a series of very important recommendations.  On the one hand, these are daring decisions, but they are also proportionate so as to ensure the continued competitiveness of the economy and in order to lower the cost of living.  We are already seeing the first achievements in this regard.  For example, I saw the Central Bureau of Statistics report that food prices did not rise last year even though the CPI did, contrary to widely-held points-of-view.  But this is not enough.  We want to lower prices and lowering prices is achieved by increasing competitiveness.

Therefore, after the Cabinet decision, I would like to pass the recommendations on to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.  We must move quickly so that we will be able to legislate the changes that will open the economy to competitiveness, increase competitiveness and lower prices.

I would also like to say that even before the High Court of Justice decision on the Tal Law, I made it clear that we would replace the Tal Law with a different law.  This law will be replaced by another law in order for there to be a more equitable, just and fair division of the burden in the State of Israel for all its citizens, Arab and Jew alike.  We will do so, and we will do so responsibly in a manner that does not set public against public.  This is very important for us now and always.

Third, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat briefed me on the actions that she is taking in order to defeat violence on our football pitches.  I fully back her in this regard.  We must defeat violence on football pitches.  We cannot see such kicking and fisticuffs.  We want to see football.  If there is violence – there will not be football.  Therefore, this violence must be uprooted in order to return the game that Israelis, myself included, love very much.

Fourth, to the planet.  This evening we will mark Earth Day with a symbolic action.  It will not solve the problems, but it will create a commitment – not just national, but international – to try and deal with results such as global warming.  When I was a boy, there was a slogan – ‘It’s a pity to waste even single a drop’ – and Israeli children would go and see dripping faucets and would close them.

Just as it is a pity to waste a drop, so it is a pity to waste electricity.  I ask Israelis to join in this welcome initiative, which itself joins Israel to the green revolution, a very positive revolution that also creates new industries.  I would like to ask you, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who has been very active in this area, to take this festive opportunity to say a few words about the Earth.”

Environmental Protection Minister Erdan: “Thank you Prime Minister Netanyahu.  As you mentioned, today, many countries around the world will mark Earth Day, which is a day designed to raise awareness about the environmental crisis, especially that of global warming.  In Israel, the 22 [local] authorities are leading this initiative at 20:00.  I am very proud that your Government is the greenest government that Israel has ever had.  I think that this may be seen in every step and in every ministry, whether in terms of extensive investments in transportation…”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Green in Israeli – not Middle Eastern – terms.”

Environmental Protection Minister Erdan: “Green, green in terms of environmental protection, whether in terms of welcome investments in public transportation and railways, renewable energy and energy efficiency, cleaning the country of pollution, and in investing in the development of metropolitan parks.  In effect, in every field vis-à-vis government ministries.  Today, this evening, as you mentioned, it is not designed to solve the problem, it is designed to provide something that has been lacking.  And what has been lacking is the awareness of every citizen that the Government is taking the lead – but it is not just this.  Each and every one of us can make the difference in every decision and in every daily step that we take.  If everybody thinks how to save electricity, the world and our country will be better off and cleaner, thank you.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Thank you.  Thank you all.  Thank you.”

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