Yair Lapid
Yair LapidNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid clarified that the government will not let food chains and supermarkets raise prices, and claimed that the government is just as "angry" as the Israeli public about the wave of rising prices.

In an interview which aired Friday on the Channel 12 program “Ofira & Berkovic”, Lapid said, "It does not matter how we got into this situation, the situation is difficult. It is fortunate that the government and the public were angry at the same time. We managed to force Sano, Osem and Shufersal to back down from the price increases because we told them not to mess with us."

Lapid added that he would consider bringing the Walmart and Costco retail chains from the United States to Israel.

"We will not allow them to cynically use the coronavirus to raise prices for the people of Israel. What has happened here in recent months is absurd, but at least we caught it. We will start next week to provide compensation and assistance to people most affected by COVID-19 and we have already started to take care of the cost of living after it wasn’t taken care of for years. The middle class is collapsing and is unable to make ends meet, it's no longer just the poor. We will not allow this to continue. "

Asked why the rise in prices has not been prevented so far, Lapid replied, "The coronavirus has raised prices all over the world, but here it was the result of years of neglect. The first reason is that we were without a state budget for three years, the second reason is the coronavirus, and the third reason is cynicism of chains and importers who took advantage of the situation. We are taking care of all this because we approved a budget."

"In order for everything to be run completely differently, we need a million Israelis in high-tech. Even those who cook for high-tech offices or the security guard at the entrance to the building earn double the salary. If we reach this achievement within three to five years, the discourse will look completely different. It should be about the big vision, not just small solutions," he added.