Austrian leader says tax could deter investment in Romania

5
Austrian leader says tax could deter investment in Romania
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, left, shakes hands with Romanian Premier Viorica Dancila at the Victoria palace in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has suggested that foreign companies could pull out of Romania after the government unveiled a surprise plan to levy extra taxes on banks and energy companies.

Kurz was visiting Romania Friday before it takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency on Jan. 1. He said Austrian companies could “take their things and leave,” adding the measures could lead to job losses and price hikes, or deter investors.

The message will be embarrassing for Prime Minister Viorica Dancila as the country prepares to take over the presidency from Austria.

Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici on Tuesday presented measures to remedy a fiscal shortfall that risked exceeding the EU’s limit of 3 percent of GDP.

The Romanian stock exchange dipped to a 10-year low after taxes on energy and telecommunication companies were announced.