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Israelis lose confidence on course of economy

Eighty percent of Israelis believe the government has lost control of the inflation-racked economy, according to an opinion poll published Thursday. The poll coincided with a meeting by government officials to discuss austerity measures. Only 12 percent believed the government would bring the economy under control.

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The poll came on the heels of a ban on foreign-currency purchases. A stampede to buy US dollars has further weakened the shekel, Israel's currency, which was devalued 18.7 percent just last month. Dollar-seeking Israelis apparently feared another devaluation.

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