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Steinitz appointed as Israeli finance minister

Posted by valecardia su 31 marzo, 2009

THE NATIONAL

JERUSALEM // The Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed close confidant Yuval Steinitz as finance minister in the coalition government to be sworn in today, officials said.

Mr Netanyahu had been widely expected to take the ministerial post himself and have Mr Steinitz working alongside him as a junior minister in the Finance Ministry.

The incoming prime minister would oversee and determine broad financial policy while Mr Steinitz would deal with the day-to-day running of the ministry, said sources in Mr Netanyahu’s office, declining to be identified.

“One of the heaviest tasks facing us is to deal with the [global] financial crisis,” Mr Steinitz said after meeting Mr Netanyahu.

Mr Netanyahu won praise for his stint as finance minister from 2003 to 2005 when he pushed free market reforms and cut public spending to stimulate growth. He has said he plans to cut taxes to limit the impact of the global financial crisis.

As a legislator in the Israeli parliament since 1999, Mr Steinitz has been one of the foremost spokesmen in Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party on military and strategic affairs.

Mr Steinitz has often expressed hawkish views on security issues but has not been noted for promoting economic matters.

His biogaphy on his own website describes him as “an esteemed philosopher, academic, military strategist and author”. The biography says Mr Steinitz holds a doctorate in philosophy from Tel Aviv University and has lectured on philosophy at Haifa University in northern Israel.

*Reuters

Last Updated: March 31. 2009 2:00PM UAE / March 31. 2009 10:00AM GMT

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