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What the newspapers say: March 3, 2008

de A.C.
Luni, 3 martie 2008, 8:41 English | Press Review

Even if in opposition, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) holds several seats in the Liberal dominated government, one newspaper reads on Monday. Also in the Social Democratic camp, former PSD Transports minister approved a small privatization process that has enriched a close businessman. Last but not least, Romania is not the only European country which tosses and turns the car registration tax.

Cotidianul reads that, even in the opposition, the Social Democratic Party took hold of some seats in the Liberal government. Thus, PM Tariceanu recently named PSD member Florentin Gust as Vice President in the Romanian National Youth Authority, as a state secretary equivalent.

PSD National Council president Adrian Nastase says that he has no idea about it. PSD party members declared that the Liberals named him because of his professional skills and not because of the political affiliations.

PSD sources argue that Mircea Geoana, head of the party, approved the Liberal's proposal. However, there are other PSD members in the Liberal government, as Gabriel Ispas, head of the government control body, who also happens to be PSD executive secretary.

Ispas declared that he obtained the job through a contest and denied any political influences in the move.

Still in the Social Democratic camp, former PSD Transports minister Miron Mitrea has approved a suspicious privatization process for the benefit of a close businessman, Romania libera reads. Cristian Burci through his companies received some 600 billions of Romanian Ron to remove the grass within the train lines as he bought a privatized company related to the Romanian Railways.

Former Democrat Liberal (PD-L) Transports minister Gheorghe Dobre argues that his predecessor was the one to authorize these processes. However, the paper reads that businessman's companies still received important benefits once the power has changed.

Namely, he won a 100 million euro tender with the alleged help of House speaker Bogdan Olteanu, a Liberal, and Hungarian Democrat senator Verestoy Attila, who both deny their involvement.

More in the news, Evenimentul Zilei reads that Romania is not the only European country to have problems with the car tax. Environment taxes stir up war between second hand car deals and some EU states.

Romania's latest version of the car registration tax will reach the European Commission for approval this week. Romanian officials argue that it has great chances to be accepted since it would be calculated as an environment tax, regulating CO2 emissions.

The newspaper reads that Germany charges a registration tax of 25 euro but for non-Euro cars, the annual tax can amount to 1000 euro. At its turn, Netherlands authorities require 20-30% of the car price as car registration tax.

Starting with January 2008, Finland calculates the registration tax depending on the market price of the car and their CO2 emissions, thus the tax will range from 60 to 80 euro, starting with 2009. Portugal collects a car registration tax for new cars and an annual tax for CO2 emissions as well. 

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