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Israel sidesteps crisis by authorizing budget cut

The Israeli government avoided another crisis Sunday when it bowed to an ultimatum from Finance Minister Yigael Hurvitz to cut the budget or face his resignation, Cabinet sources said. The government decided to slash its $13.5 billion budget by between $170 million and $200 million in an effort to reduce Israel's 130 percent annual inflation rate.

The government referred the decision to its ministerial economic committee, which Mr. Hurvitz chairs, for implementation. The minister hinted he would revive his resignation threat unless the committee reached a speedy conclusion.

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