Minister of Finance Yair Lapid responded yesterday to the demonstrations in Tel Aviv to mark the second anniversary of the social protests of the summer of 2011. He said that he was in his job because of the protest, and that changes in the housing market would be felt within two years. He expressed confidence that the people who demonstrated in the summer of 2011 felt sure that Yesh Atid MKs were working for them.
"People did not take to the streets because of housing or the price of cottage cheese, but because they felt that they were abused by the system. Most European countries would grab our situation with both hands," Lapid told Channel 10 last night.
"The fact that we're working on housing will be felt in two years," Lapid said. He added that the middle class understood that the austerity measures were necessary at this stage in order to close the budget deficit.
Commenting on the equal sharing of the burden, Lapid said, "The haredim (ultra-orthodox) will be drafted, otherwise they will not receive checks. Those who do not turn up at the induction office will go to jail. Why should my child be drafted and theirs not?"
Thousands of people demonstrated at Tel Aviv's Habima Square on Saturday night to mark the second anniversary of the social protest. They called for social justice and for the people to be at the center of government policy, not tycoons. "This is not a new initiative," said Dafni Leef, the organizer of the protest in the summer of 2011. "This is the same protest."
Protesters carried placards denouncing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lapid, and Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett, and repeated the old slogans, and added some new ones: "Capital, government = the underworld", "Bibi + Lapid = Morsi", and "A country of tycoons."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 14, 2013
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