Israel’s new government has launched a new budget. The fragile multi-party coalition passed the budget on the first reading in parliament. In Israel, this is not something that can be taken for granted.
Israel’s new government, with its eight parties, is holding together better than many have predicted. The alliance with the unequal parties has already existed for about three months. Now the government has implemented what is perhaps its most important announcement and has launched a much-needed state budget for 2021 and 2022.
The budget passed the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem at first reading. The figures have to be finalized by November. Otherwise, there is a risk of new elections. But currently, it looks like the government is pushing through the budget.
Coalition surprises with cohesion
No regular budget was passed in Israel for three years. Here, too, the country’s great political crisis was evident. Benjamin Netanyahu – former prime minister, now opposition leader – predicted three months ago that the new government would fall sooner than one thinks. So far, Netanyahu has had to watch how disciplined the alliance is – even though parties are represented there from left to right, secular to religious and Jewish to Arabic. The new budget should amount to the equivalent of 230 billion euros for two years. Among other things, it is intended to strengthen the health system. Israel’s hospitals are considered to be very successful in the fight against the coronavirus. The clinics complain that they are chronically underfunded.