Netanyahu: By Sunday, the Finance Minister Will Set Up an Emergency Fund to Assist Vital Businesses

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu leads a meeting on coronavirus, Thursday, in the Prime Minister’s Office in Yerushalayim. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu led a meeting Thursday on the subject of the economic preparations for the consequences of coronavirus, with the participation of the Ministers of Finance, Economy, the Governor of the Bank of Israel, the Revenue and the Chief Executive Offices, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Yerushalayim.

Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting: “In light of the guidelines we issued yesterday from the coronavirus headquarters, I ask everyone to heed the instructions issued by the Health Ministry.

“This meeting is a follow-up discussion to the treatment we are facing in the economic challenge posed by coronavirus. I will give the good news first. The good news is that the Israeli economy is in good shape, perhaps even very good. We are starting this crisis in a very robust economy, which is of course true of almost all Western countries. The bad news is that no one knows how this feared pandemic will spread, where it will come and what prices it will financially charge. That is why we are preparing for what has already happened, and for what can happen.

“The first step that I am announcing is that by Sunday, the finance minister will set up an emergency fund to help flow business that is vital to the functioning of the economy. The next step will be that as the crisis develops, the Finance Ministry, in coordination with the Bank of Israel, will offer tools to help flow to businesses that are in need [because] of the crisis.

“As I said, we think we are dealing with this crisis both healthily and financially, on the best side, but that does not mean that we have no major challenges. In this regard, too, I ask the companies, businessmen, business owners, to act in coordination with the government ministries. Also obey the instructions, and be prepared. “