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Israel treasury boss Lapid hit by budget anger

Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid has seen his popularity plummet since drafting a spartan budget of tax hikes and spending cuts, the daily Haaretz reported on Friday. Publishing a survey by the Dialog polling company, Haaretz said that after two months in office the popular TV personality turned politician has lost the trust of many of those who swept him to power in the January general election.

Israel's new finance minister says painful cuts needed

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel's new government will have to make painful spending cuts to tackle the country's huge budget deficit, finance minister Yair Lapid said on Sunday, just days after taking office. Wasteful policies and lower-than-expected income has created a "monstrous" overdraft for Israel that needs to be dealt with head on, Lapid said in his first statement since a new government was formed last week. "The picture that is slowly unfolding before me is much worse than I supposed," he said.

Israel's Lapid: TV star turned kingmaker

The surprise kingmaker in Israel's new governing coalition Yair Lapid is a former television star and political novice who will need all of his charisma as he takes the helm at the finance ministry. Formed just nine months before polling day, Lapid's centrist Yesh Atid was the upset of January's general election, emerging as the second-largest party in parliament and the key partner in nearly 40 days of tortuous coalition negotiations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ex-TV anchor Yair Lapid named Israeli finance minister

By Tova Cohen and Steven Scheer TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A former TV anchor whose upstart political party was the biggest surprise in Israel's January election was named finance minister on Friday as a coalition deal was signed, his spokesman said. Yair Lapid's centrist Yesh Atid party, which champions bread-and-butter issues of the Israeli middle-class, won 19 of parliament's 120 seats, second after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud-Beiteinu alliance's 31 seats.

NEWSMAKER-Israeli voters give ex-TV star dazzling political role

* New centrist party wins second place in election * Netanyahu likely to seek to draw it into coalition * Lapid wants to resume "divorce" talks with Palestinians By Maayan Lubell JERUSALEM, Jan 23 (Reuters) - A former television news anchor whose new centrist party stormed to second place in Israel's election may well be the kingmaker holding the keys to the next coalition government.

Centrist newcomer surprise star of Israel election

* Yair Lapid's centrist party takes second place -exit polls * Former TV news anchor poised for cabinet post * Leads secular push back against growing religious clout By Allyn Fisher-Ilan JERUSALEM, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The surprise star of Israel's election was a former television news anchor whose centrist party soared to second place in the ballot only months after he took up active politics.
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