Papaya Global wants to withdraw all its investments from the country. The reason for this is the reform plans of the right-wing conservative government of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
Fintech company Papaya Global announced Thursday it plans to withdraw its investments from Israel because of the country’s planned judicial reform. In the announcement, Israeli founder Einat Guez referred directly to right-wing conservative government leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who had reiterated the reform plans on Wednesday evening.
“In light of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that he is determined to impose reforms that will harm democracy and the economy, we at Papaya Global have made the financial decision to withdraw all funds from Israel,” Guez wrote on Twitter. Justifying the decision, she wrote that in light of the expected reforms, “there is no longer any certainty that we will be able to carry out international financial activities from Israel.” It is a “painful but necessary financial step,” she added.
Papaya Global provides payroll services. The company was estimated to be worth the equivalent of 3.4 billion euros in 2021, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday. Its 700 clients included companies such as Microsoft and Toyota.
Guez had also spoken out against the reforms at the weekly protests in Tel Aviv. The highly controversial plans of Justice Minister Yariv Levin are aimed at weakening the Supreme Court. According to the plans, a majority in parliament would be able to pass a law even if, in the court’s opinion, it violates the Basic Law. Levin also wants to change the composition of the body that appoints judges.
According to media reports, Israel’s central bank chief Amir Jaron had warned Netanyahu at a meeting on Tuesday that the reforms could scare off investors and harm the economy. Netanyahu firmly rejected this on Wednesday evening. “Our steps will strengthen democracy in Israel and will not harm the economy, but strengthen it,” he said.