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Netanyahu, Steinitz and Shani present conclusions
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Small groups' control of economy to end?
Recommendations presented by economic concentration committee seek to separate control of financial and real holdings, reduce power concentrated in hands of several Israeli families
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and outgoing Finance Ministry Director-General Haim Shani presented on Monday the conclusions of the economic concentration committee.

 

The committee focused on separating control of financial and real holdings by strong groups in the economy, limiting the expansion of businesses controlling a pyramid of companies, reinforcing the authorities of the Antitrust Authority supervisor in handling small groups controlling the economy and looking into considerations of competitiveness and concentration in privatization processes.

 

"These are deep structural processes, which will take time, and we'll see their implementation in the long run," said Shani. "If all is implemented, we believe we will see a better allotment of the economy's capital, further nurturing of the Israeli capital market, allotting national resources through an economic perspective, increasing competition in the economy and reducing constitutional risks."

 

Netanyahu's goal: Increasing competition

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the start of the press conference, "I appointed the committee a year ago after identifying a problem in the cost of living. The Israeli consumer's salary has gone up, but when he comes to the supermarket, he discovers that prices are increasing and he is left with less money.

 

"We can compare it to the prices of products worldwide. Israelis pay more for products and more for services.

 

"What we see here is a cost of living problem, which stems from lack of sufficient competition. Competition isn't the consumer's enemy. It reduces prices and improves service. My goal is to increase competition in the economy in order to reduce the cost of living."

 

The prime minister added, "We want to guarantee two things: Creating fair competition without harming businesses, which naturally expand. The economy is led by businesspeople who create most of its added value, and these people are important to the economy."

 

 

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