By Hadar Horesh

The chairman of the board of directors of Bezeq, Ido Disenchik, has rejected a call by the Government Companies Authority to cancel a board meeting and weekend vacation for senior executives and board members at the upscale Dan Caesarea hotel.

The company has booked 35 rooms at a cost of NIS 66,000 for senior executives and board members - partners who attend the weekend break will have to pay for the rooms at their own expense. Bezeq's board plans to hold a meeting at the Dan despite the fact that its boardroom in the company's Tel Aviv office tower is one of the country's most luxurious.

At the meeting, the 16 board members will be shown a presentation of Bezeq's program for 2002, which includes cutbacks and efficiency measures resulting from the recession and subsequent fall in revenues. Bezeq CEO Ilan Biran has already ordered a 3% cut in the wages of 100 senior executives.

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In a letter to Disenchik, the GCA said that given the current economic climate, unnecessary and ostentatious expenditures should be avoided. "Bezeq's offices have all the necessary equipment to conduct meetings," the GCA wrote. Disenchik claimed that the convention would actually save money because the company would have had to hold three separate meetings had the board met at Bezeq's offices, and each board member receives NIS 1,110 fee for each meeting. A Bezeq spokeswoman said the hotel convention offered the added value of strengthening social ties among board members.