Israeli Minister of Finance: Deal Carefully With Wealthy Families


israeli-finance-minister-yuval-steinitz“I haven’t come across any link,” Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz told Reshet Bet Radio today in response to a question about the link between capital and power. There were a few attempts to influence Ministry of Finance or my decisions, and there had no effect. There was the decision not to help the bonds of the tycoons’ companies, for example.

“Obviously, all of these affairs are regrettable and worrying, and I hope that some or all of the details will turn about to be incorrect. From my experience, there has not been a single case at the Ministry of Finance in which a tycoon influenced procedures, and the same is the case at the Bank of Israel.”

“Reshet Bet”: Does it seem logical to you that the minister of housing should have so much influence?

Steinitz: “Ministers have the power to influence, but it’s not that simple. There are various mechanisms, a lot of officials, and a lot of permits are needed. You have to look at what’s happening in two ways: on one hand it’s sad, but on the other you should also see how the state is dealing with corruption. It’s necessary to clear out what is really corruption, but investigations into a lot of cases found nothing behind them.”

Yesterday, Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer spoke out against the economy’s controlling families. What do you think?

“It’s not a welcome phenomenon. It should be dealt with, but carefully. The concentration of families definitely harms the economy, but there are good things too. We’re considering a lot of options to improve the situation, with great care. I don’t want to give details right now.”

{Globes/Yair Israel}