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Netanyahu asks Local Authorities: Don't Strike

All 255 local authorities may start striking Monday in protest of cuts in their income.
By Gil Ronen and Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 1/15/2012, 9:09 PM

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with the heads of local government Sunday evening and tried to persuade them to call off a strike planned for Monday.

All 255 local authorities may go on strike to protest plans by Interior Minister Eli Yishai and others to cut their incomes from taxes and other sources. The strike would include garbage collectors and parking inspectors, and would affect schools as well.

Netanyahu said: "This is not the time to send a shockwave through the economy with a general strike. It would hurt citizens and concerns issues that can be resolved in a brief period."

Netanyahu said he agreed with the local authorities' objections and called the proposed legislation "populist" and "irresponsible."

The local authorities say that recent steps by the government will rob them of about 3.5 billion shekels. The steps include plans by the government to use Mifal Hapayis national lottery earnings to pay for implementation of the Trachtenberg Commission's proposals instead of the usual projects it supports, such as building community centers and school laboratories.

The Trachtenberg Commission was formed by Prime Minister Netanyahu in August 2011 in response to summer protests in Israel over the economic situation of the middle class. Its proposals included tax reform and ideas on lowering the price of housing.