Romanian Economy minister Varujan Vosganian said on Thursday that the funds collected through the first car registration tax charged so far by the Romanian state would not be returned. Vosganian said that the state charged the tax - which has prompted threats of EU sanctions - on legal grounds and no other law would make possible the return of the tax to the payers, as laws are not retroactively applied.

He added that Romania will inform the European Commission by February 2008 on the modifications made to the national legislation regarding the first car registration tax.

EC Tax commissioner Laszlo Kovacs has declared that even if the EU infringement procedures stop before reaching the European Court of Justice, Romanian authorities should consider giving back the taxes.

The first car registration tax scandal broke out in spring this year as Romanian authorities decided despite EU legislation requirements to impose a registration tax on each newly acquired car.

European authorities pushed for a change as the national law did not respect EU regulations on such issues.