Economy Minister: Do not give up on sovereignty, Judiciary

Likud MK said Israel's economy would take less time to recuperate thanks to stringent gov't health measures.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Eli Cohen
Eli Cohen
Hezki Baruch

Economy Minister Eli Cohen says he understands the difficulties in the negotiations between Likud and Blue and White, but believes there are issues that should not be compromised in the establishment of a unity government.

"The main remaining issues are: Sovereignty which should not be compromised. We have been able to reach agreement on this issue with the Americans and therefore must move forward on it. With their 15 seats, they can't force us out of it. The issue of sovereignty is ideological and must be addressed. We will not compromise on this issue or the Judiciary Committee and Likud should be the one to select the Knesset Speaker," Cohen said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Cohen discussed the current economic crisis in Israel. "It is important to note that the crisis is being managed responsibly…and that we are in control from both the health and financial prospective. When it comes to addressing health concerns, we have been overly-precautious and the Prime Minister is the one to be grateful to. At first, the directives seemed very stringent but turned out to be [the right thing to do]. The infection and death rates are ones we can deal with for now."

"On the economic side, the State of Israel entered the coronavirus crisis as robust as ever. A number of programs have already been put in place for helping employees. Businesses have received tax exemptions. Improvement to existing [subsidies] still need to be made and we will make these to help businesses. The State of Israel is strong, in the spirit of the Passover: We overcame Pharaoh, we will also overcome the coronavirus. We will be responsible for the deadline period to follow the instructions so that we can begin to release the economy after the holiday. "

Asked about what plans were being made for ending restrictions, Cohen said, "We are working to keep the infection and death trend down. We will see if it's possible to put an end to government directives once public gatherings stop taking place and individuals continue using protective masks."

"In my estimate, we will be able to get back to our feet quickly since the speed of our actions in the health sphere have allowed the economic downturn to not be as sharp as in places like Italy and France. I think a return to normal will be faster and the economic downturn will less painful. Tourism and things of that nature will take longer to recuperate," he added.