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Antitrust commissioner spoiling the picture

In the midst of carpet-bombing coverage of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress and the ongoing election campaign, important economic news, both good and bad, has been overlooked.

On the good side, the Israeli economy continues to power ahead. A weaker shekel and expanded Asian markets have caused a large increase in Israeli net exports over the last two quarters, and that in turn has resulted in GDP growth of Chinese proportions. The recent pace of growth is unlikely to be sustained, but relatively rapid growth is likely to continue for some time.

On the other side of the ledger, however, is the ongoing crisis of offshore gas development, triggered by the December decision by David Gilo, director of the Antitrust Authority, to renege on his agreement of the previous March with the developers, Noble Energy of the US and the Israeli Delek and Ratio groups, demanding that they relinquish control of either the Tamar or the Leviathan gas fields.

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