[QODLink]
Middle East

Israelis march against austerity measures

Police say 2,000 people marched in Tel Aviv against new finance minister's proposed tax rises and spending cuts.

Last Modified: 12 May 2013 01:54
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

About 2,000 Israelis have marched in central Tel Aviv to protest against an expected austerity budget, police have said.

The protesters rallied on Saturday against proposed income tax and VAT rises and government spending cuts due for cabinet debate on Monday.

They directed their ire at Yair Lapid, who became finance minister after January's election where his Yesh Atid party became the second-largest party in parliament and a partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government.

Lapid ran on a ticket vowing to help the middle class, who would be hit by the proposed budget with raised taxes and slashed benefits.

Protesters in Tel Aviv carried posters of Lapid and banners that read "Take from the tycoons, not us," referring to the plan to raise workers' income tax by 1.5 percentage points while increasing corporate taxes by one point.

'Demonstrating against yourselves'

Lapid has said that caution was needed to stop employers from leaving for other countries.

"Who are you demonstrating against?" he said in an interview aired on Friday by privately owned Channel 2 television. 

"Are your demonstrating so that you can lose your jobs, so that the economy will collapse? You are demonstrating against yourselves." 

About 300 people also demonstrated outside the Tel Aviv home of Energy Minister Silvan Shalom over plans to export Israel's new-found offshore natural gas supplies rather than cut prices to domestic consumers, local media reported.

They said about 150 people each rallied in Jerusalem and Haifa.

Protests in 2011 saw record numbers of Israelis from all walks of life come together in unusual solidarity, peaking on September 3, when half a million people took to the streets.

269

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.