IDB Group controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner spent three hours with leaders of the protest against the high cost of living, but the parties failed to come to any agreements.
Dankner has found himself one of the targets of the protest movement, since his group controls companies blamed for the high costs, including grocery chain Super-Sol.
Some of the protest leaders said they felt Dankner was genuinely trying to make an offer, while others said he just wanted to come off as the protest's Robin Hood and that his offers didn't hold water.
The meeting happened two days ago at Super-Sol's Rishon Letzion offices. Participants included Super-Sol CEO Efi Rosenhaus and chairman Rafi Bisker. This was the second such meeting between Dankner and protest organizers.
Dankner called the movement leaders after a protest was held outside his Herzliya Pituah house on Thursday. Protesters held signs with slogans including "Economic concentration = legal corruption."
The first meeting was set for Sunday. At that meeting, Dankner offered to cut the prices of 30 goods for a limited period of two years, as opposed to making foodstuffs in general cheaper, said one protest leader.
"When we met with Zehavit Cohen [CEO of Apax, which controls the Tnuva dairy] and Ofra [Strauss, chairwoman of the Strauss Group], they agreed to our suggestion that they meet with representatives of the dairies, dairy farmers and government, and try to find a way to lower prices. In the most recent meeting with Nochi, we offered that he lead this process, but he was ready to reduce the prices of only 30 goods and isn't willing to discuss the other tens of thousands of products," said the source.
"They'd make those 30 products cheaper and get some sort of affirmation that Dankner and Super-Sol are acceptable. They have gross profits of 25% and they waste all their money on new branches," said the source.
One of the people behind the cottage cheese protest, Itzik Alrov, told Dankner at the meeting that people were talking about boycotting Super-Sol. Dankner responded that the only thing that would do was hurt the workers and the public.
"The government, the producers and the supermarkets need to come together to make basic foodstuffs less expensive," Dankner reportedly said at the meeting. He also said the government would need to reduce indirect taxes and VAT on basic products.
Super-Sol did not respond to a request for comment.
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