Socioeconomic change waiting for Netanyahu
It was no coincidence that the two committees presented their reports at the same time, as there seems to be a sort of competition between them to see which will publish its final findings first.
Wednesday was a day for recommendations, as both the Trajtenberg committee on socioeconomic change and the economic concentration committee submitted their preliminary recommendations.
It was no coincidence that the two committees presented their reports at the same time, as there seems to be a sort of competition between them to see which will publish its final findings first - and which will receive broader public and political backing.
The committee on the concentration of economic control in Israeli business presented its interim report to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and the governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a meeting on Sunday evening on the recommendations of the concentration committee. Afterward he will announce which recommendations he will accept, and which need more work or changes. Netanyahu will most likely hold a press conference on Monday on the matter and present the recommendations to the public.
This will be followed by a 30-day period in which the committee will hold public hearings on the proposals, and those affected will be able to voice their criticism. After the hearings end, Netanyahu will hold another meeting with the committee heads in order to finalize the document that will be presented to the cabinet for approval. The final recommendations will most likely be brought before the Knesset in November or December.
The head of the committee on socioeconomic change, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, recently recommended to Netanyahu that the concentration committee's recommendations be implemented only after his committee has finished its work, but the Finance Ministry is interested in putting the economic concentration findings into effect as soon as possible - even before the Trajtenberg committee recommendations.
In general, treasury officials have reservations about the work - and the necessity - of the Trajtenberg committee, and feel the committee is working to subvert them.
A senior official involved in the concentration committee's work said the committee tried too hard in recent weeks to finish its work, and this could affect the quality of its recommendations. But as opposed to the Trajtenberg committee, the concentration committee has more or less finished its work. The Trajtenberg committee is still in the middle of its work, and major changes can be expected in its recommendations, some of which were leaked to the public on Wednesday.
Trajtenberg responded to criticism of the committee's recommendations on Thursday. He posted a YouTube video saying the recommendations were not final or closed. He said certain interested parties felt threatened by the recommendations and wanted the process to fail.
The Trajtenberg committee will hold two marathon meetings next week to formulate its preliminary recommendations. The committee is still waiting for Netanyahu's decision on the NIS 3 billion cut in defense spending before it can finish its work, as it is counting on this sum for various social programs.
As for the tent protests, the Tel Aviv municipality told the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday that it was unable to reach an agreement with representatives of the tent camp protesters over the closing of the camps.