Steinitz. Preoccupied?
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Steinitz absent from IMF conference

Finance minister calls off participation in world's most important economic meeting, explaining he must deal with Israel's budget issues

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has called off his participation in the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, considered the most important economic conference in the world, explaining that he must deal with budget issues in the coming days.


Some 200 finance ministers, central bank governments and senior economic officials attend the conference every year. Israel is usually represented by its finance minister and Bank of Israel governor, who hold dozens of meetings during the event.


Steinitz was scheduled to hold important talks during the 2012 conference in Tokyo, and was even invited to address the conference attendees – an honor reserved to very few ministers.


Although the finance minister said he would be absent due to budget discussions, it is unclear whether such discussions are indeed planned this week.


"(Steinitz's absence) will cause huge damage to the Israeli economy," a senior economic source said Sunday.


Other sources implied that the minister preferred to remain in Israel while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds discussions on possible elections.


The finance minister's office said in response Sunday, "Immediately after the holiday we will resume our preparations of the State Budget. If the 2013 Budget is approved, the finance minister will lead the office's work with all other government ministries."



פרסום ראשון: 10.09.12, 07:23
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