JERUSALEM (Jun. 24)
Opposition parties in the Knesset Finance Committee are blocking approval of a state budget–apparently with the objective of embarrassing the government. A three-month interim budget approved by the Knesset expires next Sunday and the government faces the situation of having to operate without a budget after that date.
The opposition parties–Likud. National Religious Party and the Aguda bloc–occupy 11 of the 22 seats on the Finance Committee and have voted en bloc against the budgets for individual ministries. State Attorney Meir Shamgar has ruled that if the vote in committee is tied, the budget is regarded as approved and may be sent to the Knesset, where the government coalition commands a majority, for final passage.
But the Finance Committee has yet to vote on the new budget as a whole. It is not certain how the Aguda bloc will vote this time. If it goes along with Likud and the NRP to create another tie, the opposition may drag out the proceedings so that the government begins the month of July with no approved budget.