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Israeli leader in hot water over financial minister job

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was hit by a coalition crisis Monday over his choice of a new finance minister, Israeli radio reported. It said Mr. Shamir had chosen economist Yigal Cohen-Orgad to replace Yoram Aridor, who resigned over his controversial plan to rescue the Israeli economy by basing it on the dollar.

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Within hours, Armed Forces Radio reported the prime minister's Liberal Party coalition partners opposed the choice and Shamir had threatened to resign unless Mr. Cohen-Orgad, a hard-line member of the Herut Party, was accepted. Sources in the prime minister's office denied Shamir threatened to quit. Shamir held off formally nominating Cohen-Orgad to gain time to solve the dispute with the Liberals, who want the portfolio for themselves.