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Israeli state budget passes preliminary vote

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett are satisfied: After a long period without a real state budget, Israel finally got one.
Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks on his cellphone as he attends a plenum session on the state budget, Jerusalem, Sept. 2, 2021.

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman was in high spirits Sept. 2, as he roamed the Knesset’s corridors. A few hours before, the Knesset approved a first reading (out of three required readings) of the state budget for 2021-22, and he knew that he would get past this ominous hurdle, which threatened the government’s stability.

Liberman worked hard over the last few days, searching for solutions and compromises, and dismantling the many obstacles along the way. Volatile issues like raising the retirement age for women encountered stiff opposition from female members of the coalition’s left-wing partners. He resolved these issues methodically, tackling them one by one. After a marathon meeting with those concerned parliamentarians, he instructed the staff of the Finance Ministry to come up with a security net for women from weaker sectors of the population, especially those with jobs most likely to cause burnout.

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