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Legal pressure mounts on government to pass budget as elections loom

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Facing a High Court of Justice challenge and mounting pressure from the attorney general on Sunday, the Finance Ministry will reportedly unveil the state budget for 2021, amid speculation the government could be dissolved and early elections called later this week over the budget standoff.

Sources in the treasury told the Reuters news agency that it will present the NIS 426 billion ($128.5 billion) budget for 2021 to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. The proposal does not include tax hikes and incorporates dozens of reforms to combat the economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.

The development comes as the government has held up the passage of the 2020 budget, which must be approved by the Knesset by December 23 or the country will go to early elections for the fourth time in two years.

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In recent days, government officials have focused on the 2021 budget and the timeline of its possible approval in briefings to Israeli media, even as the deadline for the neglected 2020 budget rapidly approaches, threatening to send the country to the polls again.........

© The Times of Israel

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