Steinitz to Head Finance Ministry

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Member of Knesset (MK ) Yuval Steinitz (Likud) received the coveted Finance Ministry in the new government of Binyamin Netanyahu.

Prior to the appointment, political pundits predicted that Netanyahu might choose to head the ministry himself or possibly appoint MK Silvan Shalom.

Netanyahu, who served as finance minister in the Sharon government, played a key role in turning the country's economy around following the second intifada (armed Palestinian uprising), from 2000 to 2004.

Netanyahu will work closely with Steinitz to shape the country's overall economic policy in view of the global economic meltdown, which has also affected Israel.

"I consider this appointment a huge vote of confidence," Steinitz told reporters after leaving the meeting with Netanyahu.

"One of the greatest tasks we're faced with is to deal with the financial crisis, and this we will do," he said.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu will meet with Shalom, who reportedly said he would not sit in the Cabinet unless he received the finance ministry, especially after MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) was appointed foreign minister in the new government.

On Monday evening, Netanyahu's office announced that both Steinitz and Shalom would be receiving senior ministerial appointments.

Shalom served as foreign minister in the Sharon government.

Source: YNet news

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