Moshe Kahlon, the head of the new Kulanu party and a former Likud communications minister, addressed economic issues at a public appearance on Friday. Commenting on the controversial decision by Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo to revisit a settlement that would have permitted monopoly holdings of the country’s offshore natural gas reserves, Kahlon said: “Natural gas is a monopoly like any monopoly, and needs to be broken up. I know how to deal with monopolies and have already done so. A normal country needs one thing – competition.”
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As communications minister, Kahlon oversaw the opening up of the cellular telephone service market, which had been dominated by three major players, to competition. The new competition in that instance dramatically drove down mobile service prices.
“Monopolies are bad for the economy, for the consumer, for the country and also for the monopoly itself, which doesn’t streamline and develop because it is a monopoly. I am in favor of dealing with all the monopolies of whatever kind, without reference to whether they are public or private,” Kahlon said.
Addressing the subject of workplaces with strong labor unions, he said that from his experience, “it is better to fight the tycoons than the workers’ committees ... Separating an owner of capital from his billions is a complicated story, and it’s a lot more difficult to fight with a tycoon than workers’ committees, with which you can come to agreements.”
In his appearance at a Friday lecture series hosted by Haaretz economic commentator Nehemia Shtrasler, referring to his political roots in the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahlon said: “I am from among the Likudniks of [late Prime Minister] Menachem Begin with social sensitivity. What attracted me to Likud in the first place was the positions of that moderate Likud.”