Shas, Likud Sign Coalition Agreement

Shas has signed a coalition agreement with Likud late Monday night, joining the government for the 20th Knesset less than 48 hours ahead of the deadline for a government under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. 

Netanyahu met with Shas chairman Aryeh Deri privately before signing the agreement. 

According to the agreement, Deri will be appointed Economics Minister and Minister of Development in the Negev and the Galilee.

The Religious Affairs Ministry will also be controlled by Shas, but it is unclear which MK will receive the portfolio. 

Due to pressure from Jewish Home, however, the Conversion Law will not be under the Ministry's control, and will instead be under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). 

Shas MKs will also serve as Deputy Finance Minister and as chairman of the Knesset Education Committee. 

"I kept my promises," Deri claimed in victory on Monday, indicating that "our campaign platforms before the election – VAT reform, public housing, and minimum wages" are part of the deal.

Deri once again called on Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog to join the government, as an opportunity to work with Shas on social issues. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/194976

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