Mordechai Friedman - Ofer Vaknin - 07.07.2011
Mordechai Friedman Photo by Ofer Vaknin
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Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz offered former Israel Electric Corporation chairman Mordechai Friedman the post of ministry budgets director, but he turned down the offer. Steinitz's favored candidate now is Gal Hershkovitz, who left the budgets division in 2002. Since 2006, Hershkovitz has filled a number of senior posts at the Egged bus cooperative.

Steinitz had hoped that Friedman would shake up the ministry's budgets division. This would have been the first appointment of an outsider to the post, not to mention a senior figure from the business sector. Current budgets division head Udi Nissan is pushing for Hershkovitz. Nissan is leaving at the end of July.

Hershkovitz recently met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is still far from clear whether he will be offered the position.

The Finance Ministry said Netanyahu has the right and responsibility to get to know candidates for such important and sensitive civil service posts, and he has often met with such candidates.