Bank of Israel: Judicial reform plan may harm credit rating

(MENAFN- Hip Hop-24) Bank of Israel Governor (Central Bank) Amir Yaron expressed, on Tuesday, his fears that the Benjamin Netanyahu government's judicial reform plan will severely damage the country's credit rating.

These concerns were expressed by Yaron, who recently returned from the International Monetary Fund conference in Davos, during a meeting with Netanyahu on Tuesday, according to Kan, which is affiliated with the official Israeli broadcaster.

The meeting, which the channel described as "urgent", is the first of its kind since last December 29, the Knesset granted confidence to Netanyahu's government, which is described as "the most right-wing in the history of Israel."

The meeting took place against the background of what Yaron heard in recent days from "senior economists" in the world about the situation in Israel, where they warned that the judicial reform plan could severely harm Israel's credit rating.

And at the end of 2022, the international credit rating company "S&P" affirmed the credit rating of the State of Israel at (AA-) with "stable" rating expectations.

During the meeting, Yaron told Netanyahu that "such a situation could harm Israel's economy and push international companies to avoid investing in it," according to the Hebrew newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.

While Netanyahu listened to the concerns of the Governor of the Bank of Israel, he did not talk about any possibility of withdrawing his controversial plan regarding the judicial system, which the opposition describes as a "judicial coup."

The Hebrew economic website "Calcalist" stated that spokesmen for the Bank of Israel tried as much as possible not to provide full details of what happened between Yaron and Netanyahu, and contented themselves with a general official statement.

The statement said that Yaron spoke to Netanyahu about "various issues raised in the Israeli context during his discussions with senior global economic officials and senior officials of rating companies in recent weeks."

Later, Netanyahu held a meeting with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, during which they discussed the economic repercussions of the judicial reform plan and the protests that accompanied it.

Netanyahu and Smotrich held the Israeli opposition responsible for any potential damage to the Israeli economy.

After the meeting, they said in a joint statement that "in the face of the intimidation of the opposition and its irresponsible actions with the intention of harming the economic power of the State of Israel, the (governmental) coalition is coherent and responsible and will work with the heart of one man for the sake of the citizens of Israel," according to the Hebrew newspaper "Maariv".

For the third week in a row, the opposition organized a mass demonstration on Saturday with the participation of about 130,000 Israelis in Tel Aviv, rejecting the judicial reform plan.

The opposition says that this plan represents "the beginning of the end for democracy," while Netanyahu reiterates that it aims to "restore the balance between powers (executive, legislative, and judicial) that was violated during the last two decades."

The plan includes amendments that limit the powers of the Supreme Court (the highest judicial authority) and give the government control over the appointment of judges.


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