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Adevârul - Romania | Thursday, January 7, 2010

Romania plans to tax fast food

Romania wants to make eating fast food more expensive: Health Minister Attila Cseke has announced a tax on uhealthy food. According to estimates by the Romanian Society of Nutrition, one in four Romanians suffers from obesity. But the only result of this tax will be higher public revenues, writes the daily Adevărul: "It would be naive to believe our good minister when he says that this tax will prompt people to eat more healthily. A quick glance at other taxes is ample proof of that. Does anyone know how much cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption went down once they were more heavily taxed? No, because not even [former health minister] Eugen Nicolăescu, who introduced the new tax, could care less about that. The taxes were just wrapped in sugary talk about healthy living. It must be said however that Eugen Nicolăescu was a bit more honest about the use of these tax revenues. They were meant to finance a programme for assessing the state of public health. ... It cost 300 million euros and came to a dead-end somewhere or other. ... The programme was discontinued but the tax still exists."

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