Israel minister sells luxury apartment after public outcry

March 21st, 2012 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook Jerusalem, March 21 (IANS) Israeli Defence Minister and former prime minister Ehud Barak has sold his luxury apartment in an effort to deflect public criticism of what was perceived as an extravagant lifestyle for a civil servant.

A foreign company will pay Barak 26.5 million shekels (over $7 million) for the five-room apartment on the 31st floor in Tel Aviv, Xinhua reported citing the Globes business daily.

The amount is almost threefold over what Barak paid for the property in 2003, but lower than the price of $10 million he originally sought when it was put on the market in 2008.

Barak, who spent a modest childhood at a farm in Israel, spoke about the considerations that drove him to sell the flat in a message posted on his Facebook page.

“Upon my return to public life, it was hard not to notice the criticism regarding my residence, which I did not think was right to ignore. My wife and I decided that selling the apartment was the proper thing to do in light of the recognition that it creates a feeling of alienation and detachment among wide segments of the public,” Barak wrote.

Barak said he and his wife, Nili Priel, would relocate to “a smaller, less expensive” apartment.

According to Globes, their new home is a 200-square-metre apartment on the 23rd floor of another high-end residential complex in Tel Aviv, which they bought two years ago for $2.1 million.

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