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Israel Katz criticizes Netanyahu, Gantz, for failure to pass budget

CM 09/08/2021

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Former finance minister MK Israel Katz on Monday accused former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as his coalition partner at the time Benny Gantz, of toppling the last government due to a clause in the coalition agreement which created a political stalemate over the state budget. 

Katz, speaking on 103FM, said that the coalition agreement made the budget captive to the prime ministerial rotation agreement, adding that Gantz was “justified from his perspective” in doing so. 
The former finance minster’s comments essentially concede that the last government fell because Netanyahu was not willing to hand over power to Gantz by allowing the budget to pass. 
The coalition agreement signed by Likud and Blue and White said that there would be a prime ministerial rotation after 18 months, but that if the government collapsed Gantz would take office as caretaker prime minister when the Knesset was dissolved. 

According to the agreement however, if a state budget was not passed after the requisite amount of time – which automatically leads to the dissolution of the Knesset and new elections, Netanyahu would remain in office as prime minister. 
If the budget would have been passed, there would have been no further way for Netanyahu to prevent Gantz becoming prime minister. 
“Because of Bibi and Gantz there isn’t a budget because their agreement included a crazy clause, that said if the budget doesn’t pass then the rotation deal won’t happen,” Katz said in his radio interview on Monday. 
“We were all thrown into a dispute over the rotation amid the budget [process]… Gantz thought he was fighting, and from his perspective rightly so, for the rotation agreement to be implemented, and he trapped the budget in this,” continued the former minister.
“The political paralysis prevented the passing of the budget and the arrangements bill,” Katz concluded. 
Katz’s criticism of Netanyahu comes after the leader of the opposition suffered a couple of significant set backs within his own party.  
Netanyahu’s candidate for the judicial selection committee from within the Likud was defeated handily in an internal party secret ballot, and the eventual Likud candidate for the committee was defeated by an MK from the Religious Zionist Party. 
During his interview, Katz also strongly criticized the current government for its intention to raise property taxes in the coming state budget, along with increased taxes for plastic tableware and additional fees for some medical consultations. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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