The Israeli Cabinet met on Tuesday (28 November) to discuss the budget for the new year.
The Israeli Cabinet met on Tuesday (28 November) to discuss the budget for the new year. One of the main problems facing the government is inflation, which has been running at an annual rate of forty per cent this year. Israeli Trade Unions called a consumer strike on Wednesday (29 November) to protest against what they call unreasonable price increases. And Israel's economic future is now linked with the outcome of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Although Israelis are overjoyed at the prospects of peace, their hopes that it would also herald new economic benefits are receding rapidly.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Menachem Begin's cabinet voted in early November to set up two government committees to study the economic prospects of peace. The Defence Ministry headed by Ezer Weizman is currently involved in determining the costs to Israel of handing back the Suez Gulf oilfields to Egypt. And the Foreign Ministry, headed by Moshe Dayan, is involved in hard bargaining in Washington for financial assistance from the United States.
Israel's economy has been called fragile. And business fell by 60 to 70 per cent at Dizengoff shopping centre in Tel Aviv on Wednesday (29 November) during the evening rush hour. It was another in a series of consumer strikes and threatened strikes called by the Trade Unions to protest against inflation.
Consumer groups have promised more action, but at least one shopper buying shoes for his son disagreed with a total boycott and said the government is to blame.