Israel: government approves first budget in three years

Political crisis had prevented it since 2018

02 August, 14:00

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, AUG 2 - After long consultations overnight, the Israeli government of Naftali Bennett on Monday approved the first state budget for 2021-22. The last one was approved by the Knesset in 2018. A long political crisis subsequently paralyzed the country, preventing the approval of subsequent budgets.

    "It is an important test for our new government", said Bennett, who became prime minister in June. "After three years of stagnation, Israel is back at work". "Today - he added - we drafted a courageous budget, based on competition, a budget conceived to support the weakest and focused on the future of our children".

    The reforms approved, according to Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, will lower the cost of life. "We invested a lot in infrastructure, transport, construction and reduced bureaucracy", he said.

    Special funding will go to the Arab minority. Additional funding was allocated for the health and transport ministries, to slim down road traffic.

    The budget will now have to be examined by the Knesset and approved in a third reading by November 4. (ANSAmed).

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