Netanyahu, Smotrich reject Moody's criticisms

Benjamin Netanyahu and Bezalel Smotrich  credit: Alex Kolomoysky Yediot Ahronot
Benjamin Netanyahu and Bezalel Smotrich credit: Alex Kolomoysky Yediot Ahronot

"Moody's does not understand the resilience of Israeli society."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich responded last night to the downgrade of the outlook for Israel’s sovereign credit rating by Moody’s from "Positive" to "Stable". The pair rejected the criticisms expressed by Moody’s of a deterioration of governance in Israel, claiming that the rating agency did not understand the situation correctly. "The fear raised by the Moody’s analysts concerning the controversy among the public and its effect on Israel’s political and economic stability is natural for anyone who is not familiar with the resilience of Israeli society," they said.

"As people who believe in the strength of Israeli society, in its unity and its ability to get through disputes and crises, as we have done many times in the past, we are sure that, with God’s help, that will be the case this time too," Netanyahu and Smotrich’s statement continued. "The State of Israel is a strong democracy and for that very reason the citizens of Israel engage in discourse on matters in dispute in Israeli society, and these are indications of the strength of Israeli democracy."

The prime minister and the minister of finance repeated their stance that the judicial overhaul that the government plans will not harm the economy or democracy. "By their nature, fierce political disputes lead to protests and can create temporary uncertainty. These are risks that have been taken into account and are factored into the State of Israel’s economic estimates. There will be no damage to Israeli democracy and to the Israeli economy, and we shall continue to conduct responsible economic, security and social policy and to do everything for the sake of a stable, growing and prosperous Israeli economy."

Although they disputed the criticisms expressed by Moody’s, the prime minister and the minister of finance agreed with the agency on the strong points of the Israeli economy that it mentioned. "The analysts of rating agency Moody’s correctly identify the strengths of the Israeli economy in all metrics and the correct, responsible economic leadership that we are conducting in the wise management of public spending and in promoting reforms that encourage growth," their statement says.

"We are passing a responsible budget that leans towards growth and infrastructure and maintaining the budget frameworks in order to fight inflation and the cost of living, and we are advancing a dramatic Economic Arrangements Bill that will facilitate acceleration of national infrastructure initiatives, the removal of barriers in housing and imports, the reduction of regulation and bureaucracy, the promotion of competition in the capital market and banking, and the fight against black capital as one of the main drivers of organized crime, in order to restore governance and personal security."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on April 16, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Bezalel Smotrich  credit: Alex Kolomoysky Yediot Ahronot
Benjamin Netanyahu and Bezalel Smotrich credit: Alex Kolomoysky Yediot Ahronot
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018