Clear and Present DangerErez Balasha: "It is clear that the essence of the legal reform is to give more power to politicians and interest group"
Clear and Present Danger
Erez Balasha: "It is clear that the essence of the legal reform is to give more power to politicians and interest group"
"In a proper democracy there are protections, otherwise it is a form of government anarchy. And now it is clear that the essence of the legal reform is to give more power to politicians and interest groups, a lot of power, unlimited, without supervision - which will lead to decisions that are made for political reasons and not professional reasons. This means there will be severe damage to the economy and economic efficiency."
Where do you see it?
"For example, recently the Prime Minister said, without shame, that political appointments are excellent. As a CEO who deals with infrastructure, I come across disconnected, inexperienced ministry CEOs, who also do not necessarily come to serve the public interest. This is not a simple event. To promote processes in Israel we need serious people and a high-level executive authority. We also need to talk about the issue of the legal advisors in the ministries, who were the gatekeepers of the ministers and CEOs, ensuring that the decisions are reasonable, in the interest of the cause, without extraneous considerations. And now the idea is to reduce their power to a minimum. Even so, a lot of pressure is put on these people, they deal with lobbyists and such and such central figures with power intoxication."
And what about the legal reform itself?
"The whole issue of "reasonableness" worries me a lot. We know the issue of "reasonableness" from tenders: there are huge tenders, the state comes and examines everything with legal advisers, and makes a substantive decision. If the decision exceeds reasonableness, we go to court. Ninety-something percent of the time the court backs the state's decisions, but when there is a clear deviation from reasonableness, the decision is rejected. Consider that there are such decisions that are not monitored, this means that if you made a decision in a tender based on irrelevant considerations, then you hurt the public, or you will get a less professional winner or a more expensive winner, and these are intolerable things.
"All of this will also have macroeconomic consequences. I can already feel it. Foreign investors are very, very careful. They want to see what happens here. Banks raise margins. The higher this country rises in the corruption index, the higher all financial conditions will become. Not everyone will want to come here for these reasons. At the moment, Israel is very open to international players, but this can turn and is a very big concern."
Erez Balsha is the CEO of Generation Capital.