Health minister accuses treasury of ‘populism’ for seeking to reopen businesses

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein is going head to head with Finance Minister Israel Katz over the treasury’s demand that stores be reopened next week.

Katz is also seeking to reopen hairdressers and other small businesses.

That, according to Edelstein, is “populism.”

“For the sake of public health and the Israeli economy, it’s expected that everyone learn the lessons from the fast lifting of the first lockdown,” says Edelstein, raising the specter of a third lockdown if the rules are again lifted too quickly.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein speaks during a press conference at Airport City, outside Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2020. (Flash90)

“Instead of statements, the Finance Ministry must give adequate compensation to all those hurt by the lockdown instead of pocket change,” he adds.

Coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu warns that lifting additional restrictions right now is “dangerous.”

The government lifted some rules on Sunday. The next steps will only be taken in early November, but hinge on infection rates remaining low.

People wearing face masks shop for groceries at the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem as Israel steps out of coronavirus lockdown and rolls back restrictions on October 20, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)