While many European countries are experiencing hard economic times, Israel is sailing through the world-wide financial crisis relatively smoothly. In fact, Israeli leaders like to congratulate themselves these days on having come out of the crisis only slightly and briefly scathed. GDP growth declined from 4% in 2008 to 0.7% in 2009, but in 2010 it rose again to more than 4%. Unemployment increased from 5.7% in 2007 to 8.0% in 2009, but declined to 6.3% by mid-20102. What lies behind the Israeli leaders' self-congratulation is the claim that the measures taken in the years 2001-2003 helped soften the impact of the financial crisis that erupted in 2008, shorten its duration and avert the fate now faced by countries such as Greece and Ireland. Shlomo Swirski analyzes the steps taken by the Israeli government during the above mentioned period and the impacts of this strategy on the short and long-run.
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Dr. Shlomo Swirski is a sociologist and the academic director of the Adva Center, Tel Aviv. His presentation was made on December 15, 2010 at the Rosa Luxemburg Forum, Tel Aviv, together with Dr. Thomas Sablowski, who spoke about “The World Financial Crisis: A German Perspective”.