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August 11, 2020 9:23 am

Bank of Israel Governor Urges Government to Pass Budget, Prevent New Elections

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Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron gestures while he speaks during his interview with Reuters in Jerusalem, June 16, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun. – Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron has called on the government to pass the national budget as soon as possible to stave off another round of Knesset elections as the country grapples with the health and economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Sunday, he said “the changing morbidity trends and developments in Israel and around the world are causing great uncertainty regarding employment, businesses’ income and government intake and expenses. The government must move forward as quickly as possible in determining a clear outline for the state budget and other economic decisions needed at this time.”

It is vital, he said, that there be “stability in the conduct of the government and an orderly decision-making process.”

“Reducing the political uncertainty would contribute to the confidence of the markets in the Israeli economy and improve the ability to deal with the [COVID-19] crisis,” he said.

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Yaron’s statement comes in the midst of a stalemate 0ver the budget between coalition partners Likud, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White, led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Gantz is accusing the Likud of violating the coalition agreement, which stipulates the signing of a two-year budget, for 2020 and 20121.

Netanyahu has been pushing for a one-year budget, which would effectively cover only the last quarter of the year, as a result of the uncertainly created by the coronavirus crisis.

According to the coalition deal, if the state budget is not passed by Aug. 25, the Knesset will automatically dissolve and new elections scheduled.

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