Israeli Blue and White party's leaders vowed on Monday (October 21) to form "a liberal unity government" after incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to present a new one.
Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid of the Blue and White
Party make a joint a statement in Tel Aviv on February 21, 2019. (Photo:
"Blue and White is determined to form a liberal unity
government led by Benny Gantz," the centrist party said in a statement,
referring to a governing coalition without religious parties.
"The time for spins has
passed. Now it's time for actions," said the centrist party, which won the
largest number of seats in the September 17 elections.
On Monday night, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed President Reuven Rivlin that he was
returning the mandate to form a government, two days before his deadline to
present a new governing coalition.
Meanwhile, a statement
released by Rivlin's office said the President now intends to task Gantz with
forming a new government.
Gantz's party won 33 seats in
the 120-seat parliament in the do-over elections on September 17, against the
32 seats of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud.
The tight results have
brought the country to a political deadlock, with speculation on a third round
of elections in less than a year if Gantz also fails.
A recent comment by Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra - "We are driving through the mist and we don’t know what the next phase looks like” - might cause confusion but it accurately reflects the reality of economies in the Eurozone. Recognising the imminent risk, the only monetary union in the world has yet to agree on measures to respond to the "economic shock” caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) to help launch a stimulus package in the trillions of dollars to keep businesses, workers and households afloat in face of the coronavirus. By the end of this year, the cost of this pandemic is likely to be measured in the trillions of dollars, Guterres told G20 leaders in a letter dated March 23.
With surging confirmed COVID-19 cases, European nations adopted a raft of further measures on Sunday (March 22) to peg back the contagion, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has put herself in quarantine after a doctor she met Friday tested positive.
Over 100,000 people across Europe had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday (March 19) evening, prompting European governments to unleash more anti-virus measures.
Numbers for both new deaths and new cures from Italy's coronavirus outbreak released Wednesday (March 18) are the highest on record, as health officials scramble to find enough doctors to confront the outbreak's spread.
The World Bank has earmarked a US$100-million fast-track loan to help the Philippines fight COVID-19, the Philippine Department of Finance said. The Philippines now has 193 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 14 deaths. Four patients have recovered from the viral disease.