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Israel Cabinet Offers Citrus Fruit Growers 15 Percent Subsidies to Cover Losses

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Minister of Agriculture Pinhas Lubianiker today informed representatives of orange growers of the Cabinet’s decision to have the government pay a 15 percent subsidy to the owners of citrus fruit groves. The decision was taken in view of the strike of the growers, who refuse to export fruit unless the government grants them financial aid.

The Cabinet decision also calls for the government to pay additional subsidies toward the end of the marketing season. However, the Cabinet specifically barred the payment of the full difference between the price paid for citrus fruit in last year’s markets and that paid this year. Nor would the Cabinet agree to have the government bear the full costs of fruit raising.

The National Council of Citrus Growers, whose demands for government grants were based on a drastic price drop in this year’s foreign markets, will consider the government’s reply and then vote on whether to let the crop rot on the trees or to pick and ship it.

At its meeting, last night, the Cabinet also decided to transfer the control bereau of the defunct Ministry of Supply to the Ministry of Police. In addition. it prepared a bill setting up civil defense agencies against air raids which will be introduced to the Parliament.

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