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The Finance Ministry has accused the Transport Ministry of dragging its feet in opening the skies to competition. TheMarker learned yesterday that the treasury submitted a written complaint to the Transport Ministry about the delay in convening the inter-ministerial steering committee.

The committee is headed by the director general of the Transport Ministry. The committee will appoint a team to negotiate with the European Union and address the interests of Israeli aviation companies by increasing the number of carriers to Israel and introducing low-cost ticketing .

Negotiations with the EU toward a new, unified aviation agreement between Israel and EU countries will aim to encourage competition in civil aviation, and will replace the existing bilateral agreements between Israel and the various EU member countries.

The Transport Ministry director general, Gideon Siterman, rejected the treasury's claims, saying that he had already appointed a consultant to prepare background material, and has hosted representatives of the EU, who also provided background material. He added that it would be helpful if treasury representatives would indeed participate in the 'open skies' committee.