Livni: 'The Government Has Provided Only Aspirin '

"What the cabinet has given until now is only aspirin for the immediate treatment of the crisis. Now we need to work together, to create solutions and go forward," said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni yesterday at the manufacturers' annual conference. As opposed to Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, who is against the Histadrut and manufacturers' proposal to establish a social-economic council with the government, Livni said she is willing to hold discussions with labor and employers on ways to end the economic crisis.

But she also did not hesitate to call on the president of the Manufacturers Association, Shraga Brosh, to stop his personal attacks on Bar-On, saying discussion was the way to solve problems. She said she believes in cooperation between the government, employers and labor.

She added that all the economic plans approved so far are only the first stage, a form of aspirin. She said the pension-savings safety was only a partial solution that seemed incomplete. Livni also said she sees a need to make changes in the budget, including investing more in creating new jobs and increasing demand, as well as investments in infrastructure and desalinization and removing bureaucracy; and she views the crisis as an opportunity to reform the public service.