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ROMANIA: powerful opposition to fuel tax rises.
Foreign investors have strongly objected to a proposed increase in fuel duty.
Among other measures, the government will increase tax on petrol and diesel by €0.07 per litre next year to pay for (badly needed) major infrastructure projects. According to www.fuel-prices-europe.info, a litre of unleaded 95 currently costs €1.232. Diesel is €1.281.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania called the plans ‘hasty’, adding, ‘they will lead to increases in tax evasion, a sharp decrease of investments, a lower number of jobs and a series of difficulties in the economy.’
The Foreign Investors Council said, ‘Romanian exporters are sentenced to clinical death… the Government is forcing the companies which had the biggest contribution to the state budget to go into the international competitiveness battle without weapons.’
Between them the two are responsible for over $10bn of investment. Prime minister Victor Ponta responded by saying, ‘Romania cannot be El Dorado for everyone.’
roundup: LUXEMBOURG. A section of recently flooded road in Grevenmacher collapsed today, swallowing a fire engine whole. The Moselle breached its banks earlier in the week. Check out the hilarious photos at Wort.lu. MACEDONIA. Contracts have been signed between the Govt and the Chinese Sinohydro construction company to build two new motorways (see earlier report). Work starts in Q1 next year and should finish in four years. BULGARIA/ROMANIA. The Bulgarian prime minister has reportedly floated the idea of a third bridge across the Danube ahead of a meeting with his Romanian counterpart next week. The new bridge would stretch between Silistra (BG) and Calarasi in the east, replacing a ferry service that was anyway suspended last year.