Deri Refuses to Accept Economy Ministry

After complaining that Netanyahu had not given him a concrete offer on the Interior Ministry, Deri refuses to accept Economy Ministry.

Hezki Baruch, Cynthia Blank,

Aryeh Deri, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Aryeh Deri, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri continues to cause trouble for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and coalition negotiations on Sunday. 

After complaining to haredi radio station Kol Hai that Netanyahu had not offered him a concrete position, reports surfaced that Deri had refused the Prime Minister's proposal for the Economy Ministry. 

Deri, instead, is expected to inform Netanyahu that he will continue to demand the interior portfolio as condition for Shas joining a Likud-led government, as well as management of the Planning Authority. 

This presents a tricky issue as the Planning Authority has already been promised to Moshe Kahlon, the chairman of Kulanu. 

Another wrinkle in assembling a coalition is the religious affairs portfolio which both Shas and Jewish Home refuse to give up. 

Jewish Home faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked stated during an interview with Arutz Sheva on Sunday that her party would be willing to share the ministry with Shas, but would not relinquish it totally to the haredi party. 

If Shas does not agree, she posed, the ministry should then be run by ruling party Likud. 

Deri, however, was less compromising, stressing that "the religious affairs portfolio can only be controlled by Shas without the interference of Jewish Home." 

In his interview Sunday with Kol Hai, Deri also threatened to "look for other options," including possibly the Left, should "Shas not receive something serious" from Netanyahu. 




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