Yesh Atid calls off coalition talks

Yesh Atid has pulled out of coalition talks with Likud-Beitenu over what it terms Netanyahu's demands for a bloated cabinet.

There is a crisis in coalition talks between Likud-Beitenu and Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid. The coalition negotiating team of Yesh Atid called off this morning's talks due to a dispute over the size of the cabinet. Yesh Atid says that Likud-Beitenu is demanding a 28-minister cabinet, while it will stick by its election pledge to limit the size of the cabinet to 18 ministers.

Senior figures in Yesh Atid said this morning that "We won't be part of this bloated government. We won't budge from 18 ministers." They charged the Likud with attempting to divert discussions over who get the finance ministry portfolio when there are still no agreements on fundamental issues like the size of the government.

Likud-Beitenu reportedly told Yesh Atid that there was a need for 28 cabinet ministers because it was necessary to re-appoint ministers who served in the past government. Political sources believe that Netanyahu is concerned about an internal Likud crisis if he accepts Yesh Atid's terms regarding the size of the government and he can only appoint five to six Likud-Beitenu ministers.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 6, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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