The introduction of the sin tax in Romania keeps a high level of media attention on Tuesday – one of those rare days when there is no short list of events everybody covers.

While some newspapers focus on economy and taxation, others turn their eyes to EU and especially on Britain, a well appreciated friend of Romania that is sanctioned for what some say is mocking at Romanians with its visa delivery system.

A new tax is due today – the sin tax on alcohol and cigarettes, two product categories that already bear a high tax component in their prices.

The controversies around the introduction of such a tax, which has been prepared for months, continue these days as while the deadline for its coming into force has passed, but bureaucracy postpones the effects for several days, as Evenimentul Zilei reports.

The public attention is especially focused on cigarette prices, as Romanians smoke much above European average.

And cigarette producers have yet to announce the new prices as they wait for the publication of an ordinance introducing the sin tax into the Official Gazette, according to a local representative of the British American Tobacco, quoted by Evenimentul Zilei.

The same newspaper quotes a medical scholar from Bucharest, according to whom a 10% increase of cigarette prices would lead to a 5% lower number of smokers in the country.

Jurnalul National, meanwhile, points out that May also brings higher prices for gasoline in Romania. Petrom, the country’s biggest oil producer and distributor, has been selling fuel at 1.8%-2.1% higher prices starting last Friday and was followed by MOL and Rompetrol, with similar price boosts.

In the same fiscal field, Gandul quotes Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu who said in a TV show recently that a solution should be found for the "immoral" profit of oil companies to be distributed to the people as "oil companies in Romania must be learned social responsibility as they set their profit targets".

Meanwhile, Cotidianul turns its eyes back on European integration and its effects on the Romanian economy. According to the newspaper, the EU accession would change the way Romanians read such terms as ‘peasant’ or ‘working the land’, which will become ‘farmer’ and ‘agricultural exploitation’.

The newspaper points out that most EU money for Romania in the coming years will go to rural development as the country is known for its structural lack of balance in the agricultural field.

Adevarul, for its part, noticed that a report it published yesterday, in which sources claimed Romania might join the EU in 2007, while Bulgaria in 2008, angered auithorities in Sofia.

The paper quotes the Bulgarian deputy ForMin Gergana Grancharova who said Romania and Bulgaria are traveling hand in hand towards EU accession as the two countries have a similar level of reform.

And Cotidianul sees something wrong in what happens at the British Embassy in Bucharest, where a humiliated community of Romanians gather in the first hours of the morning to wait for expected visas.

Hundreds of people gather before the Embassy everyday and many of them, coming from across the country, have to sleep in cars to get a better place on calling lists, the newspaper reports. The UK is the only EU country still applying visas for Romanians.

Elsewhere in the media, Adevarul writes that former prime minister, former House speaker Adrian Nastase of the opposition Social Democratic Party – PSD will abandon this month his last important position he still holds – that of president of the Romanian hunters association, AGVPS.

The position had brought him the name of "the First Hunter in Romania", in the lines of official titles granted to former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

The same Adevarul newspaper also quotes a new political poll that says President Traian Basescu remains the main vote generator for the governing D.A. Alliance, as he is trusted by much more people than PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu.