Jerusalem, 17 November 1999

PM Barak Summarizes Socio-Economic Cabinet Meeting

(Communicated by Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Barak summarized yesterday’s (Tuesday) 16.11.99, socio-economic cabinet meeting.

Employment was the main issue on the agenda, including integrating Ethiopian academics in the workplace and breaking down the walls between the Ethiopian community and Israeli society. The cabinet decided to establish an inter-ministerial committee headed by Absorption Minister Yuli Tamir – who initiated the debate on the issue – and Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Yossi Kucik to coordinate operations on the ground.

The cabinet also decided to significantly alter approaches to handling problems in the community, and for the first time submitted a multi-year program for the community including housing and to establish community centers to deal with problems of poverty in both the caravan parks and in urban neighborhoods.

Finance Minister Avraham Shohat said that he is prepared to provide the necessary funds to establish the centers and enable them to function properly. The cabinet decide to provide 54 civil service posts and add 17 more each year as part of the program.