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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli cabinet fails to resolve financial crisis as new official quits

Israel’s finance minister promised on Sunday the long awaited 2021 state budget would be ready in December amid accusations the government was dragging its heels for political reasons and after a third senior economic official quit in three months.

Failure to pass last year’s budget was a big factor in the unprecedented political turmoil in Israel that led to three elections in a year, the last one held in March.

Uncertainty regarding 2021’s budget has again threatened to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fractious emergency government, which he formed with rivals to help the country weather the coronavirus crisis.

Finance Minister Israel Katz said they are now starting to prepare the 2021 budget with discussions in the coming days to determine budget goals and targets.

“The budget will address the need to deal with the continuing coronavirus pandemic as well as the need to lead the economy back to full employment and activity and growth,” Katz said in a statement.

Israel’s economy has been hit hard from the COVID-19 outbreak and is expected to contract in 2020 for the first time in nearly two decades. It still using a pro-rated version of the 2019 budget, although lawmakers have approved more than 100 billion shekels ($30 billion) in state aid to help businesses and households hurt by the virus.

Shortly before Katz announced progress on the budget, the ministry’s director-general, Keren Turner-Eyal, said she would be stepping down in the coming weeks. No reason for her departure was given, and Katz named Eran Yaacov, the head of Israel’s tax authority, as interim director-general.

Turner-Eyal was appointed to the post in May by Katz, but disagreements between the two quickly became apparent, culminating in a public censure after budget chief Shaul Meridor resigned in August.

Meridor said at the time he was quitting because he believed the government was grossly mishandling the fallout from the coronavirus crisis by making “short-sighted” decisions and ignoring economic norms.

Turner-Eyal tweeted in support of Meridor after he was criticized by government officials, including Netanyahu. Katz responded swiftly by saying she was out of line.

In July, Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu said he would step down later in 2020.

($1 = 3.3771 shekels)

Source: Reuters

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One comment

  1. Angel NicGillicuddy

    Bring me into the picture
    and you will have people stepping up not down.
    I’m with you Benjamin.
    declare demurrage on The US dollar
    and your budget will be better than ever
    AND manageable for the first time ever.
    And your problems with
    the angry adolescent anarchist leaders
    funded by The Wall Street Donors
    otherwise known as
    The Cash Mob Elite
    will fizzle out.
    In fact their desperate followers will
    turn to you.
    Drain The Swamp;
    the massive hoard of hidden US paper dollars,
    and bring this money back
    from The Dark Realms
    to
    The Light.
    President Trump and Jared know all about it,
    and I think you do too sir.
    I’m with you friend,
    Angel NicGillicuddy

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