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Mapam Threatens to Leave Cabinet; Opposes Projected Austerity Plan

July 29, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s coalition Government was facing mounting difficulties today with the leadership of the leftwing Mapam Party threatening to leave the Government over its proposed wage policy and the National Religious Party threatening to quit unless the coalition program on religious education is implemented.

Meir Yaari and Yaakov Hazan, the two foremost leaders of Mapam, gave notice to Premier Eshkol today that their party would leave the coalition unless proposals for freezing the cost of living allowances and other wage and social benefit payments are eliminated from the economic program of Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir.

At a meeting attended also by the Premier, Mr. Sapir and Commerce and Industry Minister Haim Zadok, the two Mapam leaders said that the wage freeze proposal in the Finance Minister’s three-year austerity program was contrary to the basic coalition agreement. The Mapam leaders are due to confer once again with Premier Eshkol next week when they are expected to present what they believe to be a more equitable economic plan with what they consider a more just distribution of the economic burden by all sectors of the economy — employers and employes alike.

The National Religious Party informed Mr. Eshkol today that it would not continue to participate in the Government unless the coalition program on religious education is implemented. NRP leaders complained that the Government was not carrying out its agreement to establish new religious schools and enlarge the religious education network. The party’s secretariat asked to meet with the Premier to discuss the issue.

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