Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu said on Monday that the country would not abandon the tax it introduced this year for the procurement imported used cars. The so-called first registration car tax prompted the European Commission last week to initiate procedures that may lead to sanctions against Romania for discriminate practices.

The tax was introduced as a means for what the government says is an attempt to stop an inflow of used cars on the Romanian market once the country joined the EU on January 1 this year.

“If one dislikes its name as first registration tax, then we’ll call it a tax for a clean Romania or a tax to retain jobs”, Tariceanu said, arguing that the tax is not just a measure of environmental protection but also for the protection of tens of thousands of jobs in the car-making industry.

He said those who want to sell cars on the Romanian car market should come and build them here and thus provide jobs for Romanians.

And he said that once a member of the European Union Romania should not obey Brussels decisions without protecting its own interests.