'If PM opens coalition talks we want change'

Minister for Strategic Affairs and Israel Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert opens coalition talks, Israel Beitenu would demand a "real change" in the makeup of the government and distribution of portfolios, Israel Radio reported. Last week, after new Labor leader Ehud Barak was appointed new defense minister, Olmert reportedly offered outgoing Defense Minister Amir Peretz to become a minister without a portfolio, thus giving the Labor party an additional portfolio to those the party already held according to the existing coalition agreements. Peretz's aides called the offer "humiliating" and urged Peretz to reject it, but Science and Technology, Culture and Sports Minister Ghaleb Majadle called on Peretz to accept the offer because, Majadle explained, a government with Peretz in it is a better government.