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Source: Reuters

PROFILE-Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz

Published: 29 Apr 2011 02:37:45 PST

Position: Finance Minister of Israel

Incumbent: Yuval Steinitz

Date of Birth: April 10, 1958

Term: Likely to hold the post until next election, scheduled for 2013.

Key facts:

-- With Benjamin Netanyahu deeply involved in setting economic policy, Steinitz was widely seen at the outset as a "yes man" for the prime minister. He has since established himself as a policymaker who has surrounded himself with skilled advisers.

-- Lacking financial credentials, Steinitz was a respected spokesman on defence and security issues and a former chairman of the influential parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defence committee. He has a doctorate in philosophy from Tel Aviv University.

-- Steinitz successfully instituted two-yearly national budgets, a move that has drew praise from major international economic institutions including the International Monetary Fund.

-- While originally for financial reasons, the move has also reduced the fractious coalition's vulnerability in the parliamentary budget vote. Under Israeli law, failure to pass a budget triggers new elections.

-- Emerging on the political scene in the 1980s as an activist in the anti-settler Peace Now movement, Steinitz's political outlook took a rightward turn in 1993 after Israel signed the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians. Steinitz was highly critical of the interim self-rule agreements.

-- Steinitz first entered the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in 1999 when he replaced Netanyahu, who resigned his seat after he was defeated in an election. He was a surprise appointee by Netanyahu after he formed his government on March 31, 2009.

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