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      Lapid: Airline Strike is Futile

      Finance Minister says "open skies" agreement is a done deal.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 4/22/2013, 12:12 PM

      Yair Lapid
      Yair Lapid
      Flash 90

      Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that the government will not go back on its decision to sign an "opens skies" agreement with European airlines, despite the strike by Israeli carriers.

      "'Open Skies' are a done deal," he wrote. "This is a good and proper agreement for the citizens of Israel, for the economy and for Israeli tourism."

      The strike is unwarranted, he said, "from start to finish."  However, he added, the special problems faced by Israeli airlines – of which security is first and foremost – need to be addressed. These problems can be solved, he estimated.

      Sixteen ministers voted in favor of the agreement, versus three who opposed it: Yitzhak Aharonovich, Amir Peretz and Sofa Landver.

      El Al's stock sank by 10% following the vote.