Netanyahu: I Will Use $4b in Loan Guarantees to Ease Credit Shortage

Likud chief says he would also implement accelerated depreciation for industrial investments, complete Israel Lands Administration reforms.

"We are in a very deep crisis, which is already threatening the jobs of Israeli citizens. There is a danger of tens of thousands being fired, not thousands, and if we do not act quickly, even more," said opposition leader and Likud chief Benjamin Netanyahu at the annual conference of manufacturers Thursday.

"There will be a terrible threat to savings, and even to the economic health and existence of many factories and companies." Netanyahu discussed the economic steps he intends to take if elected, which include lowering taxes and the immediate handling of the credit crisis by using the remaining $4 billion in U.S. loan guarantees. He emphasized the urgent need for dealing with the shortage of credit, saying the cabinet has taken a number of steps that are not focused or daring enough.

Other quick steps Netanyahu promises include efficiency measures in the ports, water, electricity and aviation industries. He said he would implement accelerated depreciation for industrial investments, and finish the reforms at the Israel Lands Administration. He also wants to expand the transportation infrastructure. Netanyahu also hopes to increase the Chief Scientist's Office budget for investment in high tech, to prevent a brain drain in the industry.