Israel Political Brief April 4, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Increase in Fuel / Gas Prices

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Increase in Fuel Prices

Source: PMO, 4-4-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the Cabinet meeting today:

“The Government does not control fuel prices.  Even the major powers do not control fuel prices and therefore, this is a fluctuating global market.  The State of Israel has no real possibility of controlling the direction – upward or downward – of fuel prices.

However, we have witnessed a constant upward movement in the past year as a result of the sanctions on Iran and other factors.  We are trying to moderate the increases in order to make things easier for citizens.  We are capable of doing so partially and cannot do so fully, but we have decided to do so several times in recent months.  But, as usual, this is not a free lunch and, therefore, from a budgetary perspective, we need to cover the gap that results from lowering prices.  In consultation with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, the personnel at his ministry have formulated a proposal to increase efficiency at Government ministries without harming their work.

I know that there is much to be done in boosting efficiency without harming public service.  The current Government has made impressive achievements in its first three years.  The public at large is beginning to appreciate our achievements and everyone understands that they are partly due to the team work among each and every minister seated at this table.  We have worked together very impressively up until now and here as well, on the issue of greater efficiency in personnel, teamwork is necessary so that Israelis may enjoy lower fuel prices in order to travel around the country over the Passover holiday, on pleasant highways, to the parks and reserves.”

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Israel Political Brief April 1, 2012: Tel Aviv protest decries higher cost of living — Raises in gas and electricity prices

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Tel Aviv protest decries higher cost of living

Source: JTA, 4-1-12

Several hundred protesters marched in Tel Aviv to protest rises in gas and electricity prices, and the higher cost of living.

The Saturday night march from Rabin Square to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would cut the excise tax on gas, reducing a planned increase in the price.

It is the second time in two months that Netanyahu has held the price of gas just below about $8 a gallon.

The protest, under the heading “From Slavery to Freedom,” in reference to the upcoming Passover holiday, came just days after a Bank of Israel report issued last week said that social gaps in Israel widened last year due to government policies.

The protest was organized by the same coalition that led last summer’s social justice protests. Protesters also called for Netanyahu’s resignation.

Daphne Leef and Stav Shaffir, leaders of last summer’s protests, are both currently on a lecture circuit in the United States raising money for the cause, according to reports.

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