Friday, December 5, 2008

BUCHAREST, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Romania's outgoing centrist minority government said on Thursday it will triple a registration tax for second-hand cars as of Dec. 15 to boost new car sales and help the country's ailing auto industry.

Romania is one of several European Union states that have offered support for the car industry to avoid job losses at a time when the global credit squeeze cuts demand.

Last month, the government decided to suspend the registration tax for new cars for a year. The tripled tax for second-hand vehicles will be enforced for an undetermined period of time, the government's news bureau said.

Both decisions are waiting for approval from the European Commission.

The local car market fell roughly 30 percent in October.

Romanian carmaker Dacia, owned by France's Renault (RENA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which produces the no-frills Logan model and Sandero, has stopped production for about two weeks on Nov. 20 and will decide this month whether to renew contracts for some of its workers. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Hans Peters)

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