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Romanian premier vows to keep car tax

Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said Monday his government would keep a first registration car tax, despite a warning from the European Commission that it violated the bloc's internal trade rules.

The tax ranges from about €120 ($160) for a new car to up to €7000 ($9300) for an older vehicle, with the government saying it wanted to keep Romanians from buying polluting vehicles from other European Union countries. „Romania must not become the trash can of Europe,” said Tariceanu. „We must have the courage to confront the European Union if we have other interests.” The tax is backed by local carmakers and new car dealers, but is unpopular with many Romanians who want to buy cheaper cars. The country's largest carmaker Dacia, warned that its sales could fall by 50% if the tax is scrapped. (businessweek.com)