PM to try again to pass Trajtenberg recommendations

Lieberman says Netanyahu mishandled the first vote, expresses outrage Israel Beiteinu wasn't given a chance to read the report.

Netanyahu cabinet meeting 521 (photo credit: REUTERS/POOL New)
Netanyahu cabinet meeting 521
(photo credit: REUTERS/POOL New)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will make another effort on Sunday to pass the Trajtenberg Committee’s report on sweeping socioeconomic changes in the cabinet, a Finance Ministry official said Thursday.
Netanyahu tried to bring the report to a vote in the cabinet this week but backed off after facing stiff opposition from Israel Beiteinu, Shas, and three Likud ministers.
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The prime minister met with Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday in an effort to persuade him to vote in favor on Sunday.
Lieberman expressed outrage that his party was not given a chance to read and have an impact on the report before it was brought to a vote.
“No one talked to [Israel Beiteinu] about the committee before it was appointed or after the report was published,” he told Israel Radio.
“We asked to delay the meeting because we hadn’t gotten a chance to read all of it. I told Netanyahu that this is not the way to handle things and this was a blunder. We are not trying to debate the prime minister or break up his coalition.”
Lieberman refuted claims he was seeking an early election because of an upcoming hearing on his legal troubles, saying “it is not in my interest to have an election before or after the hearing but when the term ends in [October] 2013.”
Lieberman will meet on Sunday with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in a meeting that could decide whether Sunday’s vote will succeed.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whose Independence Party also opposes the recommendations, did not sound like he had changed his mind in an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday in which he criticized the decision not to break the current framework of the budget.
“The Trajtenberg Committee’s recommendations were pointing in the right direction,” Barak said. “[But] there’s no way to answer the protesters’ demands without expanding the budget."