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What the newspapers say: February 21, 2008

de Radu Rizea
Joi, 21 februarie 2008, 9:13 English | Press Review

A new fiscal burden stirred a lot of controversy on Wednesday, namely the attempt to apply the Social Insurance Tax (CAS) to all sorts of income, instead of salaries. The Serbian president, economic news, the Kosovo situation of Hungarian minority issues are almost inexistent in the newspapers on Thursday, the only news still finding some space being related to the alarming early age of sexual début and the future race for the Bucharest City Hall.

The social insurance contributions will be paid out of the gross income, this including food tickets, mass transportation monthly subscriptions, Easter and Christmas bonuses, phone calls and rents paid by the employers and expenses with company cars used by employees, Evenimentul Zilei reads. The news stirred such a scandal on Wednesday that some breaking news on the same Evenimentul Zilei website says that the Labor Minister already changed his mind and the tax will not be imposed, since it gives room to interpretations.
Same Evenimentul Zilei presents in a wide article the motivation behind this attempt to impose new taxes: the pensions' growth in 2007, about which all ministers declared that is sustainable, but now seems impossible. Most of the money gathered through the new tax would go to the state's pensions fund.

Gandul discusses the easiest solution to avoid the new tax: "Companies will not pay the tax on gifts if they quit offering incentives". Simple as that: nothing paid extra, no extra taxes.

Meanwhile, Romania Libera conducts an on-the-spot poll and finds out that employers find the tax absurd, while lawyers say it is simply illegal, since one should volunteer to pay it, given the fact that it can not be imposed.

Happy news for youngsters, alarming news for their parents: in the county of Vrancea, 46% of the high-school students are sexually active, while 3% of the children between 12 and 14-years old already had at least one sexual contact. 9% of the high-school students already had 6 or more sexual partners, while 7% have never used any protection, same Gandul informs.

After an internal document of the Democrat - Liberal Party indicated mayor Adriean Videanu and 2nd district mayor Liviu Negoita as favorites in the race for the Bucharest City Hall (the first one being elected in the first ballot, Negoita requiring two rounds), a Gallup poll shows completely different results: Negoita would barely reach a 4% threshold, Videanu is around 10%, while businessman Silviu Prigoana would gain 38% in case he decides to run as an independent, Jurnalul National reads. In the same newspaper, Liviu Negoita says it loud and clear: "I will not run for the City Hall. It has been already established!"

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