פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
Protesters in Eilat
Photo: Meir Ohayon
Protesters in Eilat

'We're drowning': Hundreds protest in Eilat over economic crisis

Amid the coronavirus epidemic in Israel, the southern city - whose economic stability relies on its tourist industry - has an unemployment rate of nearly 100%, prompting residents to demonstrate over the government's lacking treatment of many small business owners

Meir Ohayon |
Published: 04.23.20, 20:35
More than 500 people protested on Thursday in Eilat over the government response to the economic harm faced by local businesses in wake of the coronavirus crisis.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter
  • The crisis meant that the city, whose economy is based almost exclusively on tourism, now has almost 100% unemployment.
    3 View gallery
    פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
    פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
    Protesters in Eilat
    (Photo: Meir Ohayon)
    "This is just the opening shot," said the protesters, who said the demonstrations will continue until their cry for help is heard.
    Ethi Krychli, the deputy director-general of human resources at the Isrotel hotel chain, called on the government to intervene as soon as possible.
    3 View gallery
    פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
    פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
    Protesters in Eilat
    (Photo: Meir Ohayon)
    "Help us, the city is drowning," said Krychli, "our city is empty due to the coronavirus."
    Krychli added: "We are a city with 100% employment and overnight we became a city with almost 100% unemployment."
    According to Krychli, the state must extend eligibility to receive unemployment benefit in Eilat, as other cities will be able to recover much faster.
    3 View gallery
    פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
    פגנה של עצמאיים באילת
    Protesters in Eilat
    (Photo: Meir Ohayon)
    Abir Kara, the founder of the Ani Shulman organization that advocates the rights of independent employees in Israel, went to Eilat to lend his support, telling the protesters that it was the "Independence Revolution."
    "Sixty percent of the Israeli economy is based on the self-employed," Kara said. "Now is the time for Israel to embrace us, as we have embraced it in the past."
    Protesters have claimed that Treasury officials were “grossly ignoring” past experience when putting together relief plans for workers, and acting only on the basis of academic theories.
    "This delusional plan that was drafted in the Treasury reflects the opacity of the government. It is time for the government to wake up," one said.
    Talkbacks for this article 0