Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to appoint Likud wheeler-dealer Yisrael Katz as Finance Minister this week, replacing Yair Lapid, whom the Prime Minister fired last week when he decided had enough of the current coalition.
Katz currently is Transportation Minister. He also is an old guard and powerful rough and tough Likud politician, who knows how to get things done but can’t do much of anything unless it is through a back-door deal.
Netanyahu did a masterful job as Finance Minister in the Sharon government a decade ago, and the economy probably would be better off if he were to continue to head the ministry until the elections in March.
However, it is the elections that are prompting him to have Katz take over the job, not for the sake of the economy but for the sake of his own position as Likud leader.
Giving Katz a more prominent position and power would keep at bay challengers to Netanyahu, such as Gideon Saar and Gilad Erdan.
Katz is excellent at pulling strings behind the curtain and keeping people in place, and managing the nation al treasury is nifty way to do so.