Compromise reached toward final coalition deal

Yesh Atid concedes Interior Ministry in return for Education Ministry; Bennett to be Economy and Trade Minister.

Lapid at faction meeting 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Lapid at faction meeting 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A compromise was reached toward the final coalition deal on Wednesday evening, when Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid agreed to give up his demand for the Interior Ministry in return for the Education Ministry.
Yesh Atid also gave up its demand to have no more than 20 ministers in the new government, a move which will allow Likud to honor its coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party and give MK Amir Peretz the Environment Protection Ministry.
In the accepted compromised deal, Yesh Atid MK Shai Piron will receive the post of Education Minister, while Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky will head the Knesset Finance Committee. The Interior Ministry will remain in Likud's hands, and will likely be given to outgoing Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett, who has been working to mediate between Yesh Atid and Likud, will be made Deputy Prime Minister and receive the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, and responsibility over Religious Affairs and Diaspora. Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Ariel will receive the Construction Ministry, and Eliahu Ben-Dahan is set to be appointed Deputy Minister of Religious Services, but will serve as an acting minister.
Bayit Yehudi will get another ministry and another deputy ministry.
Progress in coalition talks stalled this week after Yesh Atid insisted on obtaining the Education Ministry, which Likud wanted to keep for the current holder of the post, Gideon Sa'ar.
Coalition cut
After 38 days of coalition talks, Meretz MK Issawi Freij proposed a bill on Wednesday to shorten the amount of time allotted for negotiations to 21 days.
"The current situation is intolerable and harmful to society and the market," Freij said. "To put the entire country on hold in order to play negotiating games is irresponsible."
According to Freij, Netanyahu is busy with "media spins and fights over portfolios," instead of dealing with the deficit or passing a budget.