Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CNN's International Anchor: 'Israel's Economy is Doing Pretty Well'

"I think you have to put it quite bluntly, that Israel is doing pretty well,"  journalist and CNN International anchor and reporter Richard Quest said Monday in an interview at the Ynet studios.

"If you bear in mind that we got numbers last week from the European Central Bank that showed the eurozone will be in recession this year, we know the UK is in another year of austerity, the United States will grow maybe 2-2.2% this year – if it's lucky. And then you look at Israel with 3-3.5% growth, unemployment at 7% and inflation under control. I know it is not necessarily popular, because Israelis like to complain, but the fact is the core economic situation at the moment is pretty good."

'Social unrest arguments have disappeared' 
Asked whether the Israelis who took to the streets in the summer of 2011 were just complaining with no real reason, Quest replied: "No, they have legitimate concern. If you raise taxes on the rich, you don't raise much money. I mean, this is one of the things that the US is doing, but it's doing it for political reasons, not for financial reasons."

"And what you saw in Israel is the middle class saying, 'Enough! We are the ones who have taken the pain of all the economic reforms and all the economic decisions.' Since then, of course, the social unrest arguments – a lot of them have largely disappeared. It would be very difficult today to get that same level of demonstrations in Tel Aviv that you saw a couple of years ago."