JERUSALEM (Oct. 10)
Finance Minister Levi Eshkol returned to Israel last night from a lengthy visit to the United States and France with a warning that talks to implement the European Economic Market decision for negotiations for trade agreements with Israel would be “very tough. “
He added that “even when the talks are successful, the Euromart will not give us everything on a silver platter. ” Declining comment on reports of plans for increases in Israeli income taxes, the Finance Minister reiterated that Israel’s economic problems were far from solved in spite of the Euromart decision to open negotiations.
He said the United States decision to sell ground-to-air defensive Hawk missiles to Israel “had great political value” and that it had raised Israel’s prestige. He asserted that the Arab boycott was still hurtful to Israel particularly in the ban on Israeli shipping in the Suez Canal. He reported that he expected a World Bank announcement of a $20,000, 000 loan to Israel for highway development would be forthcoming in a few weeks.
The Finance Minister reported that during his visit to the United States he met Dr. Ludwig Erhard, the West German Economics Minister and A. Benn, the West German State Bank president. While he declined comment on the content of his talks with the two West German finance experts, he stressed the importance of West Germany in international financial institutions, particularly the role of West Germany in the International Development Association. He said Israel had asked the association of a loan to develop its water resources.