Netanyahu's Excuse for Voting Yes: Hirchson Refused to Delay Vote

MK Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the 45 MKs who voted for Moshe Kahalon's proposed law regarding the new overdraft restrictions set by the Bank of Israel.

Netanyahu, in his role as the head of the opposition, led the vote for the law in spite of the fact that the initial proposal on the overdraft arrangements was made and advanced by the bank during Netanyahu's tenure as minister of finance.

As finance minister, Netanyahu was a strong proponent of free markets and the efficiency of financial markets. He also supported improving and standardizing regulation of the markets. But yesterday he voted for the proposed law, even though it would seriously harm the independence of the supervisor of banks.

Netanyahu's spokesman explained his vote: "Netanyahu proposed to Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson to postpone the vote on the law for two weeks in order to try to reach an agreement on it. When Hirchson refused to delay the vote, Netanyahu joined the supporters of the law."

When the spokesman was asked how the former finance minister could support a proposed law that harmed the independence of the supervisor of banks, he responded: "We are dealing with a preliminary vote, and in any case the law did not pass."