Citing budget battle, finance minister to skip major economic meet

Citing budget battle, finance minister to skip major economic meet

Steinitz cancels participation at IMF conference in order to focus on domestic ills

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said he will not attend a major international economic conference because he needs to stay in Israel to deal with budget issues.

Steinitz canceled his participation at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group that are scheduled to meet in Tokyo this week, Ynet reported on Tuesday.

The conference is attended by over 200 finance ministers and officials from around the world and is considered among the year’s most important economic forums.

Usually the finance minister and the governor of the Bank of Israel attend the conference to hash over financial issues with their international peers.

The minister’s absence from the conference will have significant  repercussions for Israel’s economy, an unnamed source told Ynet.

The government has so far failed to draft a state budget for 2013, which is expected to include severe austerity measures which are currently being negotiated on between the various political parties.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to decide in the coming days whether to attempt to pass an unpopular budget or call early elections.

read more: