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Interior Ministry calls off Tel Aviv merger with suburb Bat Yam

After Bat Yam makes financial comeback, Aryeh Deri says there is no need for planned 2023 unification; Mayor Tzvika Brot: ‘We have worked very hard for this achievement’

An aerial view of the central city of Bat Yam (foreground) and Tel Aviv (background) on August 13, 2013. (Yossi Zeliger / Flash90)
An aerial view of the central city of Bat Yam (foreground) and Tel Aviv (background) on August 13, 2013. (Yossi Zeliger / Flash90)

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Tuesday that a planned merger between the coastal city of Tel Aviv and its suburb Bat Yam is canceled, after the latter met deficit goals set in 2017.

In December 2020, Bat Yam’s municipality signed a plan to reduce its deficit and balance out the budget by 2023. According to the municipality, the deficit was reduced from some NIS 100 million ($30 million) in 2018 to just 19 million ($6 million) today.

The 2017 plan to merge the cities within six years was launched due to the financial crisis Bat Yam was facing at the time.

However, the city’s recovery has removed the need for a merger.

Bat Yam Mayor Tzvika Brot speaks to Ynet on October 28, 2020. (Screenshot)

According to Deri’s statement, by 2022 Bat Yam’s deficit will balance out.

“It’s not you, it’s me,” Mayor Tzvika Brot cheekily tweeted on Tuesday, tagging Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

“I am happy and proud of the economic revolution we have made, and the trust on the part of the state. All along I have said that with professional management, transparency, and with clean hands, Bat Yam can be brought to economic balance and to a dramatic improvement of services to the resident,” Brot said in a statement.

“We have worked very hard for this achievement, and I intend to continue to lead the city to many achievements in the years to come,” he added.

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