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Bayit Yehudi: Livni gov't deal is 'traffic accident'
By LAHAV HARKOV
27/02/2013
Yesh Atid to demand change in terms of Livni deal; Bayit Yehudi and Likud Beytenu to discuss economic issues in depth.
 
The Bayit Yehudi demanded Likud Beytenu change its coalition agreement with the Tzipi Livni Party, in negotiations on Wednesday that ended without any significant progress.

"The deal is a traffic accident," MK Uri Ariel, second on the Bayit Yehudi list and the party's chief negotiator, said of the coalition agreement with Livni, which would make her Justice Minister and responsible for negotiations with the Palestinians.

The party did not specify what they would like to change in the agreement with Livni, saying Likud Beytenu should tell them what they can offer, but they are not asking for Livni to be pushed out of the coalition.

Yesh Atid, which is coordinated with the Bayit Yehudi in coalition talks, plans to make similar demands to change the deal with Livni in negotiations that are set to continue on Thursday afternoon. Yesh Atid opposes the fact that Livni's party received two ministries, which means one for every three MKs, because the former party thinks the government should have no more than 18 ministers.

Likud Beytenu did not officially offer Ariel the Housing Ministry in talks on Tuesday, despite saying it would Monday night, and the parties spoke about issues important to the Bayit Yehudi, rather than ministries.

The two parties discussed haredi enlistment, but did not make significant progress. A Bayit Yehudi source said that Likud Beytenu seemed less willing to accept their terms than they were in previous meetings, but still open to negotiations.

A source close to the negotiations explained that the Bayit Yehudi wants to come to agreements on economic and budgetary issues before dealing with portfolios.

Some of the economic issues the Bayit Yehudi plans to raise in a meeting with Likud Beytenu and National Economic Council chairman Eugene Kandel later Wednesday include making Sundays vacation days, and a law breaking market concentration.

Earlier this month, Kandel presented a plan for equality in the burden of national service that does not include quotas for the number of yeshiva students who can be exempt from enlisting in the IDF or civilian service.

Kandel also led a committee in the Prime Minister's Office in 2011-2012 that was tasked with examining the possibility of a five-day workweek in Israel.
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