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România
Flag of Romania Coat of arms of Romania
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: (none)
Anthem: Deşteaptă-te, române!
Location of Romania
Capital Bucharest
44°25′ N 26°06′ E
Largest city Bucharest
Official language(s) Romanian
Government
President
Prime Minister
Parliamentary democracy
Traian Băsescu
Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Independence

- Declared
- Recognised
Romanian War of Independence
10 May 1877
13 July 1878 ( Treaty of Berlin)
Area
• Total

• Water (%)

238,391 km² ( 78th)
{{{areami²}}} mi²

3%%
Population
• 2005 est.
• 2002 census

• Density

22,329,977 ( 49th)
21,698,181

91.3/km² ( 102nd)
{{{population_densitymi²}}}/mi²
GDP ( PPP)
• Total
• Per capita
2005 estimate
224.795 billion USD ( 42nd)
10,067 USD ( 65th)
HDI ( 2003) 0.792 ( 64th) – medium
Currency Leu ( RON)
Time zone
• Summer ( DST)
EET ( UTC+2)
EEST ( UTC+3)
Internet TLD .ro
Calling code +40
Romania (formerly also spelled Rumania or Roumania; Romanian: România /ro.mɨ'ni.a/) is a country in Europe. It is bordered by Ukraine and Moldova in the northeast; Hungary and Serbia and Montenegro in the west and Bulgaria to the south along the Danube River. Romania has a stretch of sea coast on the Black Sea and the eastern and southern Carpathian mountains run through its centre. Romania has been a member of NATO since 2004, and is also an acceding country to the European Union. The EU Accession Treaty was signed in early 2005, and Romania is due to join the Union on January 1, 2007.

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Contents

Name
History
Romanian heads of state (from the Unification of 1859)
Politics
Administrative divisions
Geography
Largest cities
Economy
National Holidays
Sport in Romania
Demographics
Culture
Gallery
International rankings



Name - Contents

The name of Romania (România) comes from Român (Romanian) which is a derivative of the word Romanus (" Roman") from Latin.The oldest surviving document written in the Romanian language is a 1521 letter which notifies the mayor of Braşov about the imminent attack of the Ottoman Turks. This document is also notable for having the first occurrence of "Rumanian", Wallachia being here named The Rumanian Land - Ţeara Rumânească (Ţeara < Latin Terra = land). In the following centuries, Romanian documents use both forms: Român and Rumân, with the latter being the more common form. It was only in the 19th century, with the rise of nationalism that the form Român was adopted as an official spelling, being chosen over Rumân in order to emphasise the linguistic connection to ancient Rome.Romanians take pride in being the most eastern Romance people, completely surrounded by non-Latin peoples ("an island of Latinity").


History - Contents

In 513 BC, south of the Danube, the tribal confederation of the Getae were defeated by Darius during his campaign against the Scythians (Herodotus IV.93). Over half a millennium later, the Getae (also named Daci by Romans) were defeated by the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan in two campaigns stretching from 101 to 106, and the core of their kingdom was turned into the Roman province of Dacia. The Gothic and Carpic campaigns in the Balkans during 238– 256 forced the Roman Empire to reorganize a new Roman province of Dacia south of Danube, inside former Moesia Superior. Romanian historians claim that Dacians are the direct ancestors of present-day Romanians.
Sibiu, the former Herrmannstadt, retains its historic mediaeval center
Sibiu, the former Herrmannstadt, retains its historic mediaeval center
In 271 the ancient Dacia became the Kingdom of the Goths until the end of the fourth century, when it was included in the Hunnic Empire. The Gepids and the Avars ruled Transylvania until the 8th century, after which the Bulgars included Romania in their Empire until 1000. The Pechenegs, the Cumans and Uzes were also mentioned by historic chronicles on the territory of Romania until the founding of the Vlachian principalities of Wallachia by Basarab I, and Moldavia by Dragoş during the 13th and 14th centuries respectively. In the Middle Ages, Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania.In 1475, Stephen the Great of Moldavia scored a decisive victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vaslui. Wallachia and Moldavia would later come under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire during the 15th and 16th centuries respectively, with internal autonomy under the millet system, and brief periods of independence. Moldova lost its eastern side Bessarabia to the Russian Empire in 1812 (though partially regained it with the Treaty of Paris in 1856), its northern part Bukovina to the Austrian Empire in 1775 and its south-eastern part Budjak to the Ottoman Empire. Transylvania came under control of the Kingdom of Hungary by the 11th century (from 1301, Hungary and Transylvania became possessions of the Houses of Anjou and Habsburg). One of the greatest Hungarian kings, Matthias Corvinus (known in Romanian as Matei Corvin, ruled 1458– 1490)— was born in Transylvania, and is claimed by the Romanians because of his half-Romanian father, Iancu de Hunedoara (Hunyadi János in Hungarian), and by the Hungarians because of his Hungarian mother. Later, in 1541, Transylvania became a multi-ethnic principality under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire following the Battle of Mohács. At the end of the 18th century, the Austrian Habsburgs incorporated Transylvania into the Austrian Empire. During the time of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), Romanians in Transylvania experienced oppression in the form of the Magyarization policies of the Hungarian government.
Peleş Castle, Sinaia, retreat of the Romanian monarchs
Peleş Castle, Sinaia, retreat of the Romanian monarchs
The modern state of Romania was formed by the merging of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 under the Moldavian domnitor Alexander John Cuza. He was replaced by Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1866. During the Russo-Turkish War, Romania fought on the Russian side; in the Treaty of Berlin in 1878 Romania was recognized as an independent state by the Great Powers. In return for ceding to Russia the two southern districts of Bessarabia which had been regained by Moldavia after the Crimean War in 1852, the Kingdom of Romania acquired Dobruja. In 1881 the principality was raised to a kingdom and Prince Carol I became King Carol I.In spite of its previous alliance with Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary, Romania entered World War I on the side of the Triple Entente in a move aimed at acquiring Transylvania. By war's end Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire had collapsed, allowing Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania to unite with the Kingdom of Romania in 1918. Union of Transylvania with Romania was ratified in the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.In 1940 during World War II, Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia, Northern Transylvania, and southern Dobrudja were occupied by the Soviet Union, Hungary and Bulgaria respectively (see Romania during World War II). The authoritarian King Carol II abdicated in 1940 and the subsequent year Romania entered the war joining Nazi Germany, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria. Because Romania participated in the invasion of the Soviet Union, the country recovered Bessarabia and northern Bukovina under the leadership of general Ion Antonescu. During the Second World War, the Antonescu regime, allied with Nazi Germany, played an active role in the Holocaust, following its policy of oppression and massacre of the Jews, and, to a lesser extent, Roma. According to a report released on 2004 by the independent commision appointed by former Romanian president Ion Iliescu and chaired by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, the Romanian authorities were the main perpetrators in the planning and implementation of the killing of between 280,000 to 380,000 Jews, primarily in the Eastern territories Romania recovered or occupied from the Soviet Union and in Moldavia (historical region) [1], though some estimates are even higher.In August 1944 the Antonescu regime was toppled, and Romania joined the Red Army against Nazi Germany, but its role in the defeat of Germany was not recognized by the Paris Peace Conference of 1947.With the Red Army forces still stationed in the country and exerting defacto control, communists and their allied parties claimed 80% of the vote in the 1946 Romanian elections, through a combination of vote manipulation, elimination and forced mergers of competing parties, establishing themselves as the dominant force; Western democracies left Romania in the hands of the Soviet Union. In 1947, King Michael I was forced by the communists to abdicate and leave the country. Romania was proclaimed a communist state, under direct military and economic control of the USSR until 1958. During this period, Romania's scarce resources left after WWII were drained by the " SovRom" agreements: mixed Soviet-Romanian companies established in the aftermath of World War II to mask the looting of Romania by the Soviet Union, in addition to excessive war reparations paid to the USSR. During this dark period, hundreds of thousands of people were imprisoned for political reasons, there were thousands of abuses, deaths and incidents of torture against political opponents, bringing gloom over Romania.
Unirii Boulevard and the Palatul Parlamentului, Bucharest; legacies of the Communist era.
Unirii Boulevard and the Palatul Parlamentului, Bucharest; legacies of the Communist era.
A short-lived period of relative economic well-being and openness followed in late 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, still regarded by some as a "golden era". This period gradually ended, first politically, and then economically. Some party leaders (such as Ion Iliescu, Corneliu Manescu, or Gheorghe Apostol) who questioned the achievements of the regime during the latter portion of this era, were sent to lower positions, which, in 1989, justified their "dissident" position. From an economic point of view, Romania's foreign debt sharply increased between 1977 and 1981 (from 3 to 10 billion US dollars). Thus, the influence of international financial organisms such as the IMF or the World Bank grew, conflicting with Ceauşescu's autarchic policies. Ceauşescu eventually initiated a project of total reimbursement of the foreign debt (completed in 1989, shortly before his overthrow). To achieve this goal, he imposed policies that impoverished Romanians and exhausted the Romanian economy. He profoundly deepened Romania's police state (see Securitate) and imposed a cult of personality.One positive achievement of the Communist period was the spread of near-universal literacy and the development of a very efficient education system. However, this educational transformation was not coupled with appropriate industrial development and urbanization policies, so that almost half of Romania's population is still rural (47.3%; see Demography of Romania), and mostly poor. Another achievement is the negotiated retreat of Soviet troops from Romania, in 1958. This allowed the country to pursue independent policies, including the condemnation by the Communist Party of Romania of the Soviet-led 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia (Romania was the only country of the Warsaw pact not to take part into the invasion), the continuation of Romanian-Israeli diplomatic relations after the Six-Day War of 1967 (Romania was the only country in the Warsaw pact to do so), the establishment of economic (1963) and diplomatic (1967) relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, and so forth. Close ties between Romania and both Israel and the Arab countries (and the PLO) allowed Romania to play an essential role in the Israel-Egypt and Israel-PLO peace processes.The Communist dictatorship ended 22 December 1989 (see Romanian Revolution of 1989). During the 1989 revolution (the term "revolution" is contested by many), power was taken by an ad hoc group called the National Salvation Front (FSN), which grouped a number of dissidents with other personalities and (then-unknown) persons that participated in the uprising. The FSN assumed the missions of restoring civil order, taking immediate democratic measures, and organizing elections for a new legislative body. Given the slow pace of reconstruction of the social and democratic system after 45 years of Communism (as emphasized by events such as the Ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureş in March 1990), the largest part of the FSN also constituted itself as a political party that participated in (and won by a large majority) the elections of summer 1990. The move was highly contested by the other emerging political parties, because the FSN controlled most media and therefore the election process was biased. The subsequent disintegration of the FSN, which did not have a clear political platform, produced several political parties including the Democratic Party (PD), which for a time retained the FSN name), the Social Democratic Party (PSD, formerly known as the Romanian Party for Social Democracy (PDSR) or the Democratic National Salvation Front-FDSN), and the Alliance for Romania (APR). Throughout several elections, coalitions, and governments, parties that emerged from the FSN governed or participated in the government of Romania from 1990 to 1996, and then from 2000 until today.In 1996, the CDR entered power on a "Contract with Romania" platform which would have required the CDR to resign en masse after 200 days from a mixed coalition government. Some members had signed on to the contract programme, while others had not; once in power, the "Contract" was repudiated. The major CDR parties were electorally eviscerated in 2000, and the Social Democrats returned to power, with Ion Iliescu once again president of Romania and Adrian Năstase, the president of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), as prime minister.On December 12, 2004, Traian Băsescu was elected president of Romania. He was supported during elections by a coalition, called Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), formed of his Democratic Party and of the National-Liberal Party. The government was formed by a larger coalition which also included the Romanian Humanist Party (now called Conservative Party) and the ethnic Hungarian party UDMR.Following the end of the Cold War in 1989, Romania developed closer ties with Western Europe, joined NATO in 2004 and became an acceding country to the European Union, being at an advanced stage to join on January 1, 2007. The Treaty of Accession of Romania has been signed by EU member states' representatives in Luxembourg, Abbaye de Neumünster, on April 25, 2005. Ratification of the Romanian and Bulgarian Accession Treaty is ongoing in the parliaments of all member states.


Romanian heads of state (from the Unification of 1859) - Contents

Principalty of Romania
Alexandru Ioan Cuza Prince of Romania 1859, 24 January - 1866, 11 February
Princely Lieutenancy 1866, 11 February - 1866, May 10
Carol I Prince of Romania 1866, May 10 - 1881, May 10
Kingdom of Romania
Carol I King of Romania 1881, May 10 - 1914, 27 September
Ferdinand I King of Romania 1914, 28 September - 1927, 20 July
Mihai I King of Romania (minor, Regency Council) 1927, 20 July - 1930, 8 June
Carol II King of Romania 1930, 8 June - 1940, 6 September
Mihai I King of Romania 1940, 6 September - 1947, 30 December
Romanian People's Republic
Dr. Constantin I. Parhon President of the Provisional Presidium 1947, 30 December - 1948, 13 April
President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly 1948, 13 April - 1952, 12 June
Dr. Petru Groza President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly 1952, 12 June - 1958, 7 January
Ion Gheorghe Maurer President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly 1958, 11 January - 1961, 21 March
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej President of the State Council 1961, 21 March - 1965, 19 March
Chivu Stoica President of the State Council 1965, 24 March - 1967, 9 December
Socialist Republic Romania (from 1965, 21 August)
Chivu Stoica President of the State Council 1965, 24 March - 1967, 9 December
Nicolae Ceauşescu President of the State Council 1967, 9 December - 1974, 28 March
President 1974, 28 March - 1989, 22 December
Romania
Ion Iliescu President of the National Salvation Front Council 1989, 22 December - 1990, 6 February
President of the Provisional National Unity Council 1990, 6 February - 1992, May 20
President 1992, May 20 - 1996, 17 November
Emil Constantinescu President 1996, 17 November - 2000, Dec
Ion Iliescu President 2000, 20 December - 2004, 20 December
Traian Băsescu President 2004, 21 December -
See also: Kings of Romania, Bessarabia, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania


Politics - Contents

Romania is a democratic republic. The legislative branch of the Romanian government consists of two chambers, Senatul (The Senate), which has 137 members (as of 2004), and Camera Deputaţilor (The Chamber of Deputies), which has 332 members (as of 2004). The members of both chambers are elected every four years.The President is also elected by popular vote, every five years (until 2004, four years).The President appoints the Prime Minister, who heads the Government, and the members of the Government, which are in fact choosen by the Prime Minister. In fact the Prime Minister is a member of the party or of the coallition that holds the majority in The Parliament. The President can choose the Prime minister only if none of the parties hold 50% + 1 of the total number of the members of the Parliament. The Government is subject to a parliamentary vote of approval.The judicial power belongs to Înalta Curte de Justiţie şi Casaţie (The High Court of Justice and Casation).There also exists Curtea Constituţională (The Constitutional Court) that judges the constutionality of any document issued by any of Romania's institutions (Parliament, Government, Presidency, etc.). This institution is clearly one inherited from the comunist era. Until 1947 the constitutionality was judged by Înalta Curte de Justiţie şi Casaţie (The High Court of Justice and Casation).


Administrative divisions - Contents

Administrative map of RomaniaTransylvania is green, Wallachia blue, the Moldavian region red, and Dobrogea yellow
Administrative map of Romania
Transylvania is green, Wallachia blue, the Moldavian region red, and Dobrogea yellow
Romania is divided into 41 judeţe, or counties, and the municipality of Bucharest (Bucureşti) - the capital. See also Administrative divisions of Romania.The counties are (in alphabetical order):
  • Alba
  • Arad
  • Argeş
  • Bacău
  • Bihor
  • Bistriţa-Năsăud
  • Botoşani
  • Braşov
  • Brăila
  • Buzău
  • Caraş-Severin
  • Călăraşi
  • Cluj
  • Constanţa
  • Covasna
  • Dâmboviţa
  • Dolj
  • Galaţi
  • Giurgiu
  • Gorj
  • Harghita
  • Hunedoara
  • Ialomiţa
  • Iaşi
  • Ilfov
  • Maramureş
  • Mehedinţi
  • Mureş
  • Neamţ
  • Olt
  • Prahova
  • Satu Mare
  • Sălaj
  • Sibiu
  • Suceava
  • Teleorman
  • Timiş
  • Tulcea
  • Vaslui
  • Vâlcea
  • Vrancea



Geography - Contents

A large part of Romania's borders with Serbia and Bulgaria is formed by the Danube. The Danube is joined by the Prut River, which forms the border with Moldova. The Danube flows into the Black Sea forming the Danube Delta which is a reservation of the Biosphere.
Because many of Romania's borders are defined by natural, sometimes shifting rivers, and because the Danube Delta is constantly expanding towards the sea, about 2-5 linear metres yearly, Romania's surface area has changed over the past few decades, generally increasing. The number has increased from about 237,500 km² in 1969 to 238,391 km² in 2005.
Map of Romania with cities
Map of Romania with cities
Romania's terrain is distributed roughly equally among between mountainous, hilly and lowland territories.The Carpathian Mountains dominate the centre of Romania surrounding the Transylvanian Plateau, 14 peaks reaching above the altitude of 2,000 m, the highest being Moldoveanu Peak at 2,544 m. In the south, the Carpathians sweeten into hills, towards the Bărăgan Plains.The three highest mountains in Romania are:
Name Height Range
1 Moldoveanu Peak 2,544 m Făgăraş Mountains
2 Negoiu 2,535 m Făgăraş Mountains
3 Viştea Mare 2,527 m Făgăraş Mountains
Major cities are the capital Bucharest, Iaşi, Timişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Constanţa, Craiova, Braşov, and Galaţi.
  • List of Romanian Cities
  • Rivers of Romania
  • Lakes of Romania



Largest cities - Contents

# City Population County
1. Bucharest / Bucureşti 2,082,334 Bucharest
2. Iaşi 320,888 Iaşi County
3. Cluj-Napoca 317,953 Cluj County
4. Timişoara 317,660 Timiş County
5. Constanţa 310,471 Constanţa County
6. Craiova 302,601 Dolj County
7. Galaţi 298,861 Galaţi County
8. Braşov 284,595 Braşov County
9. Ploiesti 232,527 Prahova County
10. Braila 216,292 Braila County
11. Oradea 206,616 Bihor County
12. Arad 183,939 Arad County
13. Bacau 175,500 Bacau County

Source: National Institute of Statistics, 2002 CensusUnofficially, sociologists say that in its 228 km², Bucharest has more than 3.5 million people, coming from every corner of the country.


Economy - Contents

The World Trade Center in Bucharest
The World Trade Center in Bucharest
After Romania's Communist regime was overthrown in late 1989, the country experienced a decade of economic instability and decline, led in part by an obsolete industrial base as well as a lack of structural reform. Starting from 2000, however, the economy was transformed into one of relative macreconomic stability, high growth, low unemployment and increasing foreign investment, and is currently among the most developed in Southeastern Europe. Economic growth since 2000 has averaged 4-5%, rising to 8.3% in 2004. This has characterised Romania as a boom economy and one of the fastest growing in Europe. Romania was granted in October 2004 the much desired 'functional market economy' status by EU officials, and is expected to join the EU in January 2007. Romania's per-capita GDP, calculated by purchasing power parity is estimated to be ,800 at end of 2005. The national budget is €28.9 billion euro, which represents 31.2% of GDP, estimated to be RON 322.5 billion ( €90,8 billions) according to the Prime-Minister Tăriceanu.Strong aspects of Romania are the technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. Having its own natural resources, Romania has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Romania is largely self-sufficient in food production. High-technology, car-manufacturing, military equipment, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers) are leading exports. Romania possesses extensive facilities for oil refining and semiconductor fabrication.Inflation in 2004 was registered at 9.2%, and is expected to fall to 7.5% in 2005 and 5.0% in 2006. Unemployment in Romania is at 5.5% ( July 2005), which is very low compared to other large European countries such as Poland, France, or Germany.Since the late 1990s, there have been several economic reforms, spurred on by the country's bid to join the EU, including the liquidation of large energy-intensive industries and major reforms in the agricultural and financial sectors. As of 2005, a significant amount of Romania's major companies have been privatised, including the majority of banks, the largest oil companies Petrom and Rompetrol, energy distributors and telecommunications companies. The country continues to privatise remaining state enterprises, including Romanian Post and the Romanian Commercial Bank. In comparison to its neighbours, Romania has a high number of small to medium sized enterprises ( SMEes). Foreign investment has increased significantly since 2003, reaching € 5.1 billion in 2004. ERSTE BANK A.G. will be the new majority shareholder of Romanian Commercial Bank following the acquisition of a 61.88 percent stake at a price of Euro 7.65 per share, resulting in a total price for the 490,399,321 shares sold of Euro 3,751,554,805 (3.75 Billion €). This is considered the biggest Austrian foreign investment abroad. This is also considered the biggest FDI in Romania. Total FDI in Romania for 2005 was 6 Billion €. In the top of investor's country, Austria is leading with more then 6,7 Billion € from 1990 until 2005.Romania's economy grew 5.9% in the first quarter 2005 compared with the same period last year, according to the National Statistics Office. The service sector was the country's main economic growth engine showing a 6.8% rise from the same period last year, while industry grew by 5% and agriculture by 1.8%. Currently GDP growth is forecast at 5.5% per annum. Romania's economy is characterized by a huge potential of tourism. Tourism of Romania has attracted 400 millions € investments in 2005.

Trade
The majority of Romania's trade is oriented towards the countries of the European Union. For the first 6 months of 2005, Romania's exports rose 17.2%, while imports rose 22%, in part due to a rise in real wages. In July 2005, Romanian exports grew to a record value of €2.0 billion/month. The trade deficit was about €3.2 billion (US.8 billion) in the first five months of the year, well within the target for 2005. In present, at a series of economical indicators, Romania has a similar situation of the new member states of EU, the export of highly technological products being of 3.2% from total exports, comparatively higher than Poland which has only 2.7% from exports. In December 2005 was adopted the National Strategy for Export for 2005-2009. It was chosen first four branches for which it will be made branding programs: textile industry, furniture industry, wine industry and IT industry. For the total foreign trade it is estimated for 2006 over 70 Billion € compared with 50 Billion € in 2005.Main indicators of the exports and imports of Romania's economy:
# 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
1. Exports 20 Bn€ 25 Bn€ 28.75 Bn€ (est.) 29 Bn€ (est.) 33 Bn€(est.)
2. Imports 28 Bn€ 31 Bn€ 38 Bn€ (est.) 39 Bn€ (est.) 44 Bn€(est.)
3. Average gross wage (RON)/€ 950RON/ 275 € 1000RON/285 € 1100RON/ 315€ 1200RON/ 355€ 1350 RON/ 385€ (est.)



Taxation
In January 2005, Romania's new Tăriceanu government imposed major fiscal reforms, replacing Romania's progressive tax system with a 16% flat tax on both personal income and company profit. Romania now has one of the most liberal taxation systems in Europe, and it is expected that this, along with increased foreign investment, will boost economic growth in the coming years, as well as lower corruption and bring to light the grey economy. The tax cuts have led a 12 percent jump in household consumption, which was also boosted by a 13 percent rise in wages.

Debt
Romania's level of international debt is estimated at .59 billion in 2004, or 23.6% of GDP which is considered very low. However, as Romania is currently going through an economic boom and is undertaking several major infrastructure projects, especially in the context of its EU accession, debt is expected to rise in absolute terms.During the latter part of the Ceauşescu period, Romania earned significant credits from several Arab countries, notably Iraq, for work related to the oil industry. In August 2005, Romania forgave US billion of the US.5 billion debt owed it by an Iraq still largely occupied by the military forces of the U.S.-led " Coalition of the Willing", making Romania the first country outside of the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations to forgive Iraqi debts. Romania has the largest international reserves in the region, estimated at € 19 billion, covering more than 7 months of imports. [2] [3] [4]

Wages
The average gross wage per month in Romania is 1121 new lei as of December 2005, an increase of 9,6% over the previous month. This equates to €311.38, based on international exchange rates; the purchasing power parity (PPP) would be about €690. The average net salary per month in December 2005 was 848 new lei (€235.55, about €522 PPP). The Comisia Nationala de Prognoza (CNP) calculates that the average gross wage per month will reach €339 (€762 PPP) in 2007 and €414 (931€ PPP) in 2009.

Currency
The National Bank of Romania
The National Bank of Romania
Romania's legal tender is the leu (plural lei). On 1 July 2005, the leu was subjected to redenomination so that 10,000 old lei, in circulation on that date, was exchanged for 1 new leu. The existing banknotes and coins, i.e. the old lei, will be legal tender until the end of December 2006. The official exchange rate for 10 August 2005 for 1€=3.39 lei ( National Bank of Romania). By 31 December 2006, the existing banknotes and coins, i.e. the old lei, are to be replaced gradually by the new banknotes and coins. The process will prepare Romania for the adoption of the euro, which is expected to take place several years after EU accession. The Romanian government has said that it expects the country will adopt the euro between 2011 and 2012.Main indicators of the ROMANIA's economy:Romania's GDP over 2005-2007 will go up by 10 billion euros per year, and will stand in 2007 at 96.138 billion euros.
# 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
1. GDP 70 Bn€ 77Bn€ 86Bn€ 90Bn€ (est.) 96.138 (est.) 110(est.)
2. GDP ( %real change pa) +5.3% +8.3% +5% +6% (est.) +6(est.) +6(est.)
3. GDP per capita (€) 2350 € 2600 € 3100€ 4000€ (est.) NA NA
4. GDP per capita (€ at PPP) 7700 € 8000 € 8500€ 9000€ (est.) NA NA
5. Inflation 14% 9.2% 8.5% 5% (est.) 3% 2.5%
6. Minimum wage 285 RON=82€ 310 RON=89€ 330RON=95€ 360RON=105€ (est.) NA NA
7. Medium gross wage 765 RON=220€ 870 RON=250€ 995RON=285€ 1145RON=335€ (est.) 1300RON 1800RON
8. Unemployment 6.4% 6.3% 5.6% 5% (est.) NA NA
9. FDI 3.9bn€ 5.1bn€ 6bn€ 8bn€ (est.) NA NA
10. Foreign-exchange reserves (bn€) 14bn€ 16bn€ 20bn€ 30bn€ (est.) NA NA
11. Mobile phone users 9,000,000 10,000,000 11,860,000 14,000,000 (est.) NA NA
12. Cars production (units) 160,000 240,000 320,000 500,000(est.) NA NA
13. Internet users 5,180,000 7,800,000 10,400,000 13,600,000(est.) NA NA



National Budget
National budget, about € 29 billions euro, represents about 31,2% of GDP of RON 322,5 billions (EURO 90,8 billions), declared the Prime-Minister Tariceanu. National budget is increasing rapidly about 6 billions EURO each year for the interval of time 2005-2009. About 2 billions EURO/year are spend for national defense.National budget of Romania:
# 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
1. National Budget 25 Bn€ 30 Bn€ 36 Bn€ (est.) 45 Bn€ (est.) 59 Bn€(est.)
2. Percentage of GDP% 29% 31 % 32%(est.) 33%(est.) 34 %(est.)

Romania's development in period 2007-2013 will cost 58,7 billions euro of which 43% represents European Union financial contribution.


National Holidays - Contents

The Christian holidays of Christmas and (Orthodox) Easter are celebrated (they are official, non-working, holidays). Unlike some other Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on 25 December; however, they follow the usual Eastern Orthodox practice for the date of Easter. Other official holidays (non-working) are New Year's Day ( January 1), Labour Day ( May 1), and the National Day of Romania ( December 1, the Union Day). For Christmas and for Labour Day, it is common for businesses to shut down more than a single day.Minor, but widely observed, holidays include Mărţişor ( March 1), marking the start of spring, and International Women's Day ( March 8). Many businesses give women employees the day off for International Women's Day. Some holidays celebrated in the United States or in other parts of Europe have recently been gaining some currency in Romania, for example Valentine's Day ( February 14).Also see Holidays in Romania.


Sport in Romania - Contents

Romania is successful in a number of sports at international level. See also List of Romanians (sport section).The gymnast Nadia Comaneci was the first gymnast to score a perfect ten in Olympic competition ( 1976 Montreal Olympic Games). She also won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze - all at the age of fourteen. Her success continued in the 1980 Moscow Olympics when she was awarded two gold medals and two silver medals. Ilie Năstase, the tennis player, is another internationally known Romanian sports star. He won several Grand Slam titles, dozens of other tournaments and also was a successful doubles player. Romania has also reached the Davis Cup finals three times.Soccer is popular in Romania with international footballers such as Gheorghe Hagi who played for Steaua Bucuresti (Romania), Real Madrid, Barcelona (Spain) and Galatasaray (Turkey) among others. The Romanian soccer club Steaua Bucureşti was the first Eastern European club to ever win the prestigious European Champions Cup title (1986).


Demographics - Contents



Ethnicity
Ethnic groups (Census 2002):
  • Romanian 89.5%
  • Hungarian 6.6%
  • Roma 2.5%
  • Ukrainian 0.3%
  • German 0.3%
  • Russian 0.2%
  • Turkish and Tatar 0.2%
  • Other 0.4%

Other ethnic groups include natives of Romania's neighbouring countries and some smaller groups like the Polish minority (numbering a few thousand people) living in Suceava County.According to official declarations, ethnic minorities can use their native language in education. Ethnic minorities are offered native language access to public administration in towns and villages where they make up for more than 20% of the population. In towns and villages where they make up for more than 30% of the population, local council meetings can be held in the minority language, provided that translation into Romanian is provided, and that official minutes are kept in Romanian (cf. the Public Administration Law, link below).On the other hand, some members and observers of minor ethnic minorities (e.g.) Roma claim that their numbers are undercounted in national censuses [5], [6], [7].

Language
The official language is Romanian, a Romance language of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, which are also called Romanic, Romantic or Romance languages. This language family includes French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Portuguese; its languages are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but mainly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere. About 25 million people worldwide speak Romanian, mostly in Romania and Moldova (4,500,000).A sizeable Hungarian minority in Transylvania speaks Hungarian as well as Romanian; until the 1990s, there were also a substantial number of German-speaking Transylvanian Saxons, but in exchange for payments to the Communist regime many left to West Germany and most of the remainder have left the country since the fall of communism and the accompanying opening of borders.The Romanian educational system puts a strong emphasis on foreign languages, and Radio România Internaţional broadcasts in Arabic, Aromanian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Ukrainian (broadcasts in Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese and Turkish ended in late March 2004). More than a quarter of Romanians understand and speak French[ citation needed] and Romania is a member of the Organisation de la Francophonie, with Bucharest being the host of the Summit of Francophony in 2006.In terms of foreign languages, 5 million Romanians speak English, 4-5 million speak French, 1.5 million speak German, 2 million speak Italian, and 1 million speak Spanish. [8] Historically, French was the leading foreign language for Romanians to study, now it is English, so that as a group the English-speakers in Romania are younger than the French-speakers.

Religion
Religions (2002 Census):
  • Romanian Orthodox - 86.8%
  • Roman Catholic - 4.5%
  • Protestant - 3.7%
  • Pentecostal - 1.5%
  • Greek-Catholic Uniate - 0.9%
Most Romanians are members of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is one of the churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Catholicism (both Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic) and Protestantism are also represented, mostly in the areas inhabited by population closer to western influence.In Dobrogea, the region lying on the shore of the Black Sea, there is a small Muslim minority (of Turkish and Tatar ethnicity), which is a remnant of the Ottoman rule and migrations from Crimea, respectively.


Culture - Contents

Romanian old wooden church in Maramures
Romanian old wooden church in Maramures


The 12th Summit Meeting of the Francophonie
Romania will host, on November 2006, the 12th Sommet de la Francophonie / Summit of the Francophone World in Bucharest.
  • Art of Romania
  • Christmas customs in Romania
  • List of Romanians
  • Literature of Romania
  • Music of Romania
  • Romanian-American
  • Romanian poets
  • Tourism in Romania


Media and Television
  • List of Romanian newspapers
  • List of Romanian language television channels
There are many TV stations in Romania like: TVR 1, TVR 2, TVR Cultural, TVR International, PRO TV, PRO Cinema, Acasa , Antena 1, Antena 3 (Romania), Euforia TV - Antena 4, Prima TV, Realitatea TV, National TV, N24, B1 TV, Telesport, TV Sport, Ocram TV (OTV).

Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006
Romania will host, on November 2006, the international Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The Romanian broadcaster has been chosen by the European Broadcasting Union ( EBU) for being the organizator of the 4th edition of the contest. For the first time, Romania will be the host of such an event and a show produced by TVR will be broadcasted live all over Europe, in the countries member of EBU.


Gallery - Contents




International rankings - Contents

  • A.T. Kearney/ Foreign Policy Magazine: Globalization Index 2005, ranked 35 out of 62 countries
  • Bertelsmann: Bertelsmann Transformation Index 2006, ranked 19th out of 119 countries
  • IMD International: World Competitiveness Yearbook 2005, ranked 55 out of 60 economies (countries and regions)
  • Reporters without borders: Annual worldwide press freedom index (2005), ranked 70 out of 167 countries
  • The Wall Street Journal: 2005 Index of Economic Freedom, ranked 125 out of 155 countries
  • The Economist: The World in 2005 - Worldwide quality-of-life index, 2005, ranked 58 out of 111 countries
  • Transparency International: Corruption Perceptions Index 2005, ranked 85 out of 158 countries (tied with Mongolia and Dominican Republic)
  • United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Index 2005, ranked 64 out of 177 countries
  • World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report 2005-2006 - Growth Competitiveness Index Ranking, ranked 67 out of 117 countries
  • World Bank: Doing Business 2006, ranked 78th out of 155
  • World Bank: Ease of Starting a Business 2006, ranked 8th out of 155
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Foreign Direct Investment Performance Index 2004, ranked 35th out of 140
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