Barak. Compass nedded
Photo: Reuters
Braverman. No more speculations
Photo: Guy Assayag

Barak: Man who ruined economy cannot save it

Labor Party launches social-economic campaign stressing its opposition to Likud's 'sweeping capitalism, Kadima's 'weathercock'

Whoever wants to stop Netanyahu's "sweeping capitalism must vote for the Labor Party, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday morning as his party heads presented their social-economic policy and slammed the policies of rival parties Likud and Kadima, which they said were detached from the changing trends in the world following the deep financial crisis.


"Benjamin Netanyahu is the ultimate representatives of the sweeping capitalism outlook which is collapsing everywhere, including in his homeland," Barak said. "I find it unreasonable to ask the man who led the collapsing policy to come and save the situation."


The Labor chairman also slammed Kadima's economic policy, which he said "is filled with confusion and paralysis".


"There is too much talk, and they have a weathercock which is sensitive to what the public wants, but this is not leadership. Leadership is a clear compass, and those who want to stop Bibi (Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu) and (Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor) Lieberman's policy must vote for the Labor Party."


Barak launches campaign on backdrop of Rabin's picture (Photo: Reuters)


The Labor chairman reiterated the message that "we are working to form a government led by me. We won't enter any government which won't be established based on basic principles reflecting our way."


He clarified that Labor would prefer to sit in a government with Kadima and Meretz in order to advance joint economic issues such as infrastructures, research and development, retraining and career change and preventing dismissals.


"We must lead an aggressive policy of growth and reduce the value-added tax on basic commodities," Barak said.


'Bibi and Tzipi are the same'

Minister Isaac Herzog and Knesset Members Avishay Braverman and Shelly Yacimovich blamed the policies of Kadima and the Likud for the heavy damage suffered by many parts of the population, headed by the middle class and low-income population.


"My fear is that the government established after the election will erase our achievements and return to violent capitalism which ignores the society's needs," said Herzog. "We have a clear disagreement with Bibi and with Tzipi (Foreign Minister Livni) in terms of the social issue. It must be clear, in the social issue Bibi and Tzipi are the same."


Braverman stressed the need to change the list of priorities in terms of economy. "Kadima's economic policy is conservative. The US and Europe have already changed their minds, and the main thing now is to fight unemployment.


"We will expand the deficit in order to emerge from the credit crunch. Our policy will be of people who understand the crisis. We must return to manufacturing and to an economy of knowledge. The era of speculations is over."


According to Braverman, if Labor rises to power it will regulate the capital market and supervise the bonuses paid to managers. "We don't believe in Netanyahu's taxation policy. It's irrelevant and there will be a huge drop in the income from taxes."


Yacimovich said the Labor Party would work to enforce labor laws, a move which will lead to thousands of Israelis emerging from the circle of poverty."


The Likud said in response, "Barak's attack on Netanyahu's 'capitalism' sounds particularly ridiculous from the 31st floor of the Akirov Tower… Netanyahu saved the economy once and will do it again."


Amnon Meranda contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 02.02.09, 15:31
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