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Israel’s government has pledged to take on the port workers’ unions and end monopolies at the two main ports of Ashdod and Haifa. In an attempt to buoy Israel’s flagging economy, the government has approved an open skies deal with the EU and is now turning to the ports – but the battle looks set to be bloody. Manufacturers claim the country lost some $7m in April’s port slowdown – and the unions are said to be “belligerent”. “Let there be war,” said the finance minister.

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