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Israeli leader in hot water over financial minister job

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was hit by a coalition crisis Monday over his choice of a new finance minister, Israeli radio reported. It said Mr. Shamir had chosen economist Yigal Cohen-Orgad to replace Yoram Aridor, who resigned over his controversial plan to rescue the Israeli economy by basing it on the dollar.

Within hours, Armed Forces Radio reported the prime minister's Liberal Party coalition partners opposed the choice and Shamir had threatened to resign unless Mr. Cohen-Orgad, a hard-line member of the Herut Party, was accepted. Sources in the prime minister's office denied Shamir threatened to quit. Shamir held off formally nominating Cohen-Orgad to gain time to solve the dispute with the Liberals, who want the portfolio for themselves.

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