Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman today announced during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he had ordered a halt in the process of privatizing Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI), following differences of opinion with Government Companies Authority director Ori Yogev.
"As long as Ori Yogev is involved in the process of privatizing IMI, I have no confidence that the process is clean and untainted, and I have therefore ordered that the process be halted pending reconsideration of the entire matter," Liberman explained.
Asked about the delay in the appointment of his associate, former Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir, as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1), Liberman answered with a frontal attack on Yogev, saying, "The delay of the appointment is a continuation of his reckless conduct aimed at detracting from the economic soundness of IAI, preventing it from resuming regular business, and even bringing it to bankruptcy in order to privatize it later. Yogev has been responsible for the government companies for almost four years, and he bears personal responsibility for damaging one of Israel's best industries. He is jeopardizing the livelihood of 100,000 people derived directly or indirectly from IAI."
According to reports, including one by Channel 2 News, Shamir acted in an alleged conflict of interest by promoting his private business when serving as chairman of government companies. Both the Government Companies Authority and the Ministry of Justice oppose his appointment, but Liberman is insisting that he be appointed nevertheless.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on March 6, 2017
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