Netanyahu: ‘We’ll put 10 billion into helping Israel’s economy weather coronavirus crisis’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday afternoon announced a series of economic steps aimed at managing the impact coronavirus has on Israel’s economy.

“Coronavirus is having a big economic impact on the economy,” he said. “We are entering the crisis in a good situation. Our situation is better than most of the world’s economies. That said, there is a challenge here, but we believe we will be able to handle it successfully. Our purpose is to allow the economy to continue functioning, and that we will do with an immediate 10 billion shekel package: We gave four million, and today we are adding another six million shekel to stabilize the economy.”

Netanyahu promised: “As much as necessary, we will provide additional aid. We will add a billion shekel to the healthcare system. We’re talking here about saving lives. We are aware of the possibility that this will cost in lives. So, we’re giving first priority to healthcare, in order to increase the supplies of medications, to prepare the hospitals for a larger number of patients.”

Regarding the aviation industry, Netanyahu said, “There will be individual and separate aid for airlines. They are our lifeline and it’s important to us.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud) told the press that “we are entering a crisis when the economy is in a good situation. This is a global event, and not just in the State of Israel. Our rapid growth over the years is helping us manage this.”

Regarding the fund to aid small and medium businesses, Kahlon said: “There is great interest in this fund, businesses are turning to us and starting to advance loans. It takes a week to ten days. It’s not complicated, it’s very simple. Every business which has suffered damage from coronavirus can submit a request in a simple and efficient fashion and receive this loan. It offers good conditions, much better than what there was in the past, in terms of interest and guarantors.”

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