TEL AVIV (Dec. 16)
Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir made an unprecedented appearance last night before the political committee of Mapam. Political observers said it was the first instance of a leader of one party appearing be fore the leadership of another. Sapir’s stated purpose was to persuade Mapam to support his economic program which calls among other things for scaling down wage demands next year. Mapam, though a coalition partner, strongly opposes the Labor Party on many economic and political issues.
Sapir said after the meeting that he felt he was “among friends, not rivals.” He hinted to the Mapam members that he would not run again for the Finance Minister post in the next government. “I wish all the best to whoever replaces me,” he said. Sapir also said he did not think the announced intention to devalue the US dollar would lead to any serious disruption of Israel’s economy. “I looked into the reactions here today and found that even the black market was unruffled.” he said. Sapir has been mentioned as a likely successor to Premier Golda Meir. He is said to be her personal choice to head the government when she retires.