Parties play hard to get in 1st day of coalition talks

February 3, 2013 22:38


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Yesh Atid, Bayit Yehudi and Shas one-upped each other, trying to show tenacity in the first day of coalition negotiations with Likud Beytenu Sunday, in which haredi national service was the central topic.

Likud Beytenu sources indicated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prefers to have Shas in the coalition, even at the expense of Yesh Atid, should his team find it too challenging to bridge the differences between them and have a coalition with both, but hopes Lapid's party will be flexible in its many coalition demands.Meanwhile, Likud Beytenu representatives, attorneys David Shimron and Yoav Mani, as well as former Prime Minister’s Office director-general Moshe Leon were tight-lipped going in and out of talks, with a party spokeswoman only saying they were generally productive and the atmosphere was positive.

Yesh Atid's team also kept mum on progress in coalition talks, but privately said that party leader Yair Lapid would rather stay in the opposition and "bring down Netanyahu in a year and a half" than compromise, according to a Channel 2 News report.

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