Romanian prime minister dismisses head of inland revenue

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Friday January 19, 2007

Bucharest- Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu
has dismissed the president of the country's inland revenue service,
the National Agency for Financial Administration (ANAF), media
reports said Friday.
Sebastian Bodu was dismissed for political reasons. He had
commented on Romanian tax policy in a way not warranted by his
office, the prime minister explained.

Bodu's dismissal increased tensions in the divided government

In a newspaper interview, Bodu had criticized Bucharest for still
insisting on high fees for the first registration of imported cars
although the European Union opposed them.

Tax evasion had also worsened after the increase of so-called "sin
taxes" on tobacco and alcohol, Bodu said.

Tariceanu replied that the EU did not criticize the initial
registration fee itself but only its level.

Moreover, Bodu should have done more to collect the "sin tax," not
question it.

The initial registration fee for imported cars in Romania depends
on the year of manufacture and capacity and can amount to a maximum
of 7,000 euros (9,000 dollars).

Bucharest says it wants to reduce imports on used cars to protect
the environment from emissions.

The EU Commission is currently inquiring whether it can initiate
legal action against Romania.

The Democratic Party (PD), which is part of the governing
coalition, protested against the dismissal of Bodu who is a member.

Tariceanu is the chair of the National-Liberal Party (PNL).

The PD is close to President Traian Basescu who has been fighting
with Tariceanu over power in the country for the past two years.

© 2006 - dpa German Press Agency