A compromise has been reached regarding the Israeli defense budget, paving the way for the presentation of the economic plan next week. At the end of the meeting, attended by the Prime Minister and ministers Binyamin Netanyahu, Shaul Mofaz and Meir Sheetrit, it was agreed that the planned defense cuts would be reduced by two billion shekels ($422 million), in response to the urgent needs of the defense system.
Approximately one billion shekels a year will reduced from the defense budget during the course of 2004 and 2005, with the Ministry of Defense now committed to this cut. In addition, a decision was made to appoint an accountant on behalf of the Ministry of Finance to the Defense Ministry, to implement the defense budget.
In the wake of this agreement it will be possible to present the economic plan next week. Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin holding phone talks with ministers tomorrow, in order to bring them up-to-date on details of the planned cuts in their respective ministries. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )