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Israel Averted Economic Crisis by Acting Early: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNBC Tuesday that his country averted some of the economic problems that Europe is facing now by acting “early on.”

“I raised the pension age to 67,” he said. In addition, the country cut the child allowance subsidy and dealt with banks.

“We took a third of assets from the banks," he added, "which were very powerful, oligopolies, and put them out to market.”

Netanyahu, who is experiencing his second time around as prime minister of the Middle Eastern state, was also its finance minister earlier.

"We bit the bullet, and as a result the Israeli economy has been in much better shape," Netanyahu said, referring to difficult decisions the Israeli government made.

"This is an example of a high-tech economy that has reformed along market lines, and I think it promises great opportunities in the future, with or without peace, and we hope with peace."

The European fiscal crisis impacted Israel, said Netanyahu, because Europe is Israel’s main trading partner. To make up for the lost revenue from Europe, Netanyahu added, “Israeli exporters have had to redirect their efforts to other markets, principally Asia.”

Netanhayu said also that hostility from Iran is a threat to the world economy, not just that of Israel, and that it needs to be addressed.