Israel

Israel Katz takes over as Israeli finance minister

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel Katz took over as Israel’s finance minister on Monday as part of a new government, saying he planned to work towards helping the economy recover from the effects of the coronavirus while also promoting competition.

Katz — who replaces Moshe Kahlon after a five-year stint — said he didn’t want to talk about specific economic policies, preferring to first meet the ministry’s experts.

“There will be a plan,” he told a ceremony to mark the changing of the guard. “It will be accompanied by reforms, … competition.”

He has 90 days to pass a 2020 state budget. Israel has been using a pro-rated version of the 2019 base budget.

The government has approved an emergency stimulus plan of some 100 billion shekels ($28 billion) to help businesses and the economy deal with the effects of the pandemic — pushing up the expected budget

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