How can the Government defy all European officials? Easy. When all the officials shout that the car registration tax is illegal and the money should be refunded to the people who paid it, when Romania is one step away from being forced to do so by the European Court of Justice, there is one solution: the Government will change the name of the tax, so it would remain in force.

As for how to defy its own citizens - it is even easier: dignitaries buy luxury residences for prices 10 to 100 times lower than the market.

"Defiance: The Government changes the name of the car tax" is the headline in Cotidianul. The car first registration tax will be called "the car pollution tax", the change coming in the hope that Romania will get rid of the trial in the European Court of Justice. The decision came on Thursday, through a note tabled for approval by the Environment Ministry. "The tax is designed for environmental protection, not as payment for a state-delivered service, which is the car registration", said Environment Minister Attila Korodi.

Romania Libera has yet another example on how the dignitaries fail eve to mime the interest for anything else than their own well-being: the close friends of ex-president Ion Iliescu bought their protocol apartments and houses for prices ranging between 800 (yes, eight hundred!) and 15,000 euro. To compare it with the market price, one may point at the fact that one square meter of land in the residential areas where they bought the houses costs between one and two thousands euro. A few miles away from the luxury residences, a two-bedroom apartment costs some 130,000 euro. A villa in the luxury residential area where the dignitaries live costs easy over half a million euro.

Well, the important thing is that President Basescu and Adrian Cioroianu managed to let one day go by without quarrelling, as Evenimentul Zilei reads. The two participated on Thursday, posing as a team, in the ceremony for the signing of the new EU Treaty, a document that makes Romania a less important player in the Union.

Maybe they even went shopping afterwards, since psychologists say that Romanians do not feel the joy of Christmas, being to busy shopping, a "mental problem that will be solved in 5 - 10 years". Until then, specialists warn that Romanians are so excited about shopping that some may even lose their homes, same Evenimentul Zilei found out. At last retailers should be glad...