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Romania ( ; archaic: Rumania, Roumania; ) is a country located in Southeastern and Central Europe, North of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian archmarker, bordering on the Black Seamarker. Almost all of the Danube Delta is located within its territory. Romania shares a border with Hungarymarker and Serbiamarker to the west, Ukrainemarker and the Republic of Moldovamarker to the northeast, and Bulgariamarker to the south.

The territory's recorded history includes periods of rule by Dacians, the Roman Empire, the Bulgarian empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. As a nation-state, the country was formed by the merging of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 and it gained recognition of its independence in 1878. Later, in 1918, they were joined by Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabiamarker. At the end of World War II, parts of its territories (roughly the present day Republic of Moldovamarker) were occupied by the USSR and Romania became a member of the Warsaw Pact.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Romania started a series of political and economic reforms. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems, Romania made economic reforms such as low flat tax rates in 2005 and joined the European Union on January 1, 2007. While Romania's income level remains one of the lowest in the European Union, reforms have increased the growth speed. Romania is now an upper-middle income country economy.

Romania has the 9th largest territory and the 7th largest population (with 21.5 million people) among the European Union member states. Its capital and largest city is Bucharestmarker ( ), the 6th largest city in the EU with 1.9 million people. In 2007, Sibiumarker, a city in Transylvania, was chosen as a European Capital of Culture. Romania also joined NATOmarker on March 29, 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Unionmarker, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE and of the United Nations, as well as an associate member of the CPLPmarker. Romania is a semi-presidential unitary state.

Etymology

The name of Romania ( ) comes from which is a derivative of the (Roman). The fact that Romanians call themselves a derivative of Romanus ( ) is mentioned as early as the 16th century by many authors, including Italian Humanists travelling in Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia. The oldest surviving document written in the Romanian language is a 1521 letter known as "Neacşu's Letter from Câmpulungmarker". This document is also notable for having the first occurrence of "Rumanian" in a Romanian written text, Wallachia being here named The Rumanian Land – Ţeara Rumânească (Ţeara from the land).

In the following centuries, Romanian documents use interchangeably two spelling forms: Român and Rumân."am scris aceste sfente cǎrţi de învăţături, sǎ fie popilor rumânesti... sǎ înţeleagǎ toţi oamenii cine-s rumâni creştini" "Întrebare creştineascǎ" (1559), Bibliografia româneascǎ veche, IV, 1944, p. 6.

"...că văzum cum toate limbile au şi înfluresc întru cuvintele slǎvite a lui Dumnezeu numai noi românii pre limbă nu avem. Pentru aceia cu mare muncǎ scoasem de limba jidoveascǎ si greceascǎ si srâbeascǎ pre limba româneascǎ 5 cărţi ale lui Moisi prorocul si patru cărţi şi le dăruim voo fraţi rumâni şi le-au scris în cheltuială multǎ... şi le-au dăruit voo fraţilor români,... şi le-au scris voo fraţilor români" Palia de la Orǎştie (1581–1582), Bucureşti, 1968.

În Ţara Ardealului nu lăcuiesc numai unguri, ce şi saşi peste seamă de mulţi şi români peste tot locul..., Grigore Ureche, Letopiseţul Ţării Moldovei, p. 133–134. Socio-linguistic evolutions in the late 17th century led to a process of semantic differentiation: the form "rumân", presumably usual among lower classes, got the meaning of "bondsman", while the form român kept an ethno-linguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the form "rumân" gradually disappears and the spelling definitively stabilises to the form "român", "românesc". In his well known literary testament Ienăchiţă Văcărescu writes: "Urmaşilor mei Văcăreşti!/Las vouă moştenire:/Creşterea limbei româneşti/Ş-a patriei cinstire."

In the "Istoria faptelor lui Mavroghene-Vodă şi a răzmeriţei din timpul lui pe la 1790" a Pitar Hristache writes: "Încep după-a mea ideie/Cu vreo câteva condeie/Povestea mavroghenească/Dela Ţara Românească. The name "Româniamarker" as common homeland of all Romanians is documented in the early 19th century. The first known mention of the term "Romania" in its modern denotation dates from 1816, as the Greek scholar Dimitrie Daniel Philippide published in Leipzigmarker his work "The History of Romania", followed by "The Geography of Romania".

On the tombstone of Gheorghe Lazăr in Avrigmarker (built in 1823) there is the inscription: "Precum Hristos pe Lazăr din morţi a înviat/Aşa tu România din somn ai deşteptat."
This name has been officially in use since December 11, 1861.

English-language sources still used the terms "Rumania" or "Roumania", borrowed from the French spelling "Roumanie", as recently as World War II, but since then those terms have largely been replaced with the official spelling "Romania".

History

Prehistory and Antiquity

The oldest modern human remains in Europe were discovered in the "Cave With Bonesmarker" in present day Romania. The remains are approximately 42,000 years old and as Europe’s oldest remains of Homo sapiens, they may represent the first such people to have entered the continent. But the earliest written evidence of people living in the territory of the present-day Romania comes from Herodotus in book IV of his Histories written 440 BCE, where he writes about the Getae tribes.

Dacians, considered a part of these Getae, were a branch of Thracians that inhabited Dacia (corresponding to modern Romania, Moldovamarker and northern Bulgariamarker). The Dacian kingdom reached its maximum expansion during King Burebista, around 82 BC, and soon came under the scrutiny of the neighboring Roman Empire. After an attack by the Dacians on the Roman province of Moesia in 87 AD, the Romans led a series of wars (Dacian Wars) which eventually led to the victory of Emperor Trajan in 106 AD, and transformed the core of the kingdom into the province of Roman Dacia.

Rich ore deposits were found in the province, and especially gold and silver were plentiful. which led to Rome heavily colonizing the province. This brought Vulgar Latin and started a period of intense romanization, that would give birth to proto-Romanian. Nevertheless, in the 3rd century AD, with the invasions of migratory populations such as Goths, the Roman Empire was forced to pull out of Dacia around 271 AD, thus making it the first province to be abandoned.

Several competing theories have been generated to explain the origin of modern Romanians. Linguistic and geo-historical analysis tend to indicate that Romanians have coalesced as a major ethnic group both South and North of the Danube. For further discussion, see Origin of Romanians.

Middle Ages

After the Roman army and administration left Dacia, the territory was invaded by the Goths, then, in the 4th century by Huns. They were followed by more nomads including Gepids, Avars, Bulgars, Pechenegs, and Cumans.

In the Middle Ages, Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia ( —"Romanian Land"), Moldavia ( ) and Transylvania. By the 11th century, Transylvania became a largely autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and became independent as the Principality of Transylvania from the 16th century, until 1711. In the other Romanian principalities, many small local states with varying degrees of independence developed, but only in the 14th century did the larger principalities of Wallachia (1310) and Moldavia (around 1352) emerge to fight the threat of the Ottoman Empire. Vlad III the Impaler maintained an independent policy in relation to the Ottoman Empire, and, in 1462, defeated Mehmed II's offensive during The Night Attack.

By 1541, the entire Balkan peninsula and most of Hungarymarker became Ottoman provinces. In contrast, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania, came under Ottoman suzerainty, but conserved fully internal autonomy and, until the 18th century, some external independence. During this period the Romanian lands were characterised by the slow disappearance of the feudal system; the distinguishment of some rulers like Stephen the Great, Vasile Lupu, and Dimitrie Cantemir in Moldavia, Matei Basarab, Vlad III the Impaler, and Constantin Brâncoveanu in Wallachia, Gabriel Bethlen in Transylvania; the Phanariot Epoch; and the appearance of the Russian Empiremarker as a political and military influence.

Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania at the end of the 16th century
In 1600, the principalities of Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania were simultaneously headed by the Wallachian prince Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), Ban of Oltenia, but the chance for a unity dissolved after Mihai was killed, only one year later, by the soldiers of Austrian army general Giorgio Basta. Mihai Viteazul, who was prince of Transylvania for less than one year, intended for the first time to unite the three principalities and to lay down foundations of a single state in a territory comparable to today's Romania.

After his death, as vassal tributary states, Moldovamarker and Wallachia had complete internal autonomy and external independence, which was finally lost in the 18th century. In 1699, Transylvania became a territory of the Habsburgs' Austrian empire, following the Austrian victory over the Turks in the Great Turkish War. The Austrians, in their turn, rapidly expanded their empire: in 1718 an important part of Wallachia, called Oltenia, was incorporated to the Austrian monarchy and was only returned in 1739. In 1775, the Austrian empire occupied the north-western part of Moldavia, later called Bukovina, while the eastern half of the principality (called Bessarabiamarker) was occupied in 1812 by Russia.

Independence and monarchy

Territories inhabited by Romanians before WWI
During the period of Austro-Hungarian rule in Transylvania, and Ottoman suzerainty over Wallachia and Moldavia, most Romanians were in the situation of being second-class citizens (or even non-citizens) in a territory where they formed the majority of the population. In some Transylvanian cities, such as Braşovmarker (at that time the Transylvanian Saxon citadel of Kronstadt), Romanians were not even allowed to reside within the city walls.

After the failed 1848 Revolution, the Great Powers did not support the Romanians' expressed desire to officially unite in a single state, which forced Romania to proceed alone against the Ottomans. The electors in both Moldavia and Wallachia chose in 1859 the same person –Alexandru Ioan Cuza– as prince (Domnitor in Romanian). Thus, Romania was created as a personal union, albeit a Romania that did not include Transylvania. There, the upper class and the aristocracy remained mainly Hungarian, and Romanian nationalism inevitably ran up against Hungarian in the late 19th century. As in the previous 900 years, Austria-Hungary, especially under the Dual Monarchy of 1867, kept the Hungarians firmly in control even in the parts of Transylvania where Romanians constituted a local majority.

In a 1866 coup d'état, Cuza was exiled and replaced by Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringenmarker, who became known as Prince Carol of Romania. During the Russo-Turkish War Romania fought on the Russian side, in and in the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, Romania was recognized as an independent state by the Great Powers. In return, Romania ceded three southern districts of Bessarabiamarker to Russia and acquired Dobruja. In 1881, the principality was raised to a kingdom and Prince Carol became King Carol I.

The 1878–1914 period was one of stability and progress for Romania. During the Second Balkan War, Romania joined Greecemarker, Serbiamarker, Montenegromarker and Turkeymarker against Bulgariamarker, and in the peace Treaty of Bucharest Romania gained Southern Dobrudja.

World Wars and Greater Romania

(1916–1945)


In August 1914, when World War I broke out, Romania declared neutrality. Two years later, under pressure from the Allies (especially France, desperate to open a new front), on August 14/27 1916, Romania joined the Allies, declaring war on Austria-Hungary. For this action, under the terms of the secret military convention, Romania was promised support for its goal of national unity for all Romanian people.

The Romanian military campaign ended in disaster for Romania as the Central Powers conquered two-thirds of the country and captured or killed the majority of its army within four months. Nevertheless, Moldavia remained in Romanian hands after the invading forces were stopped in 1917. By the war's end, Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire had collapsed and disintegrated; Bessarabiamarker, Bukovina and Transylvania proclaimed unions with the Kingdom of Romania in 1918. Total deaths from 1914 to 1918, military and civilian, within contemporary borders, were estimated at 748,000. By the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, Hungarymarker renounced in favour of Romania all the claims of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy over Transylvania. The union of Romania with Bukovina was ratified in 1919 in the Treaty of Saint Germain, and with Bessarabiamarker in 1920 by the Treaty of Paris.

The Romanian expression România Mare (literal translation "Great Romania", but more commonly rendered "Greater Romania") generally refers to the Romanian state in the interwar period, and by extension, to the territory Romania covered at the time (see map). Romania achieved at that time its greatest territorial extent (almost ), managing to unite all the historic Romanian lands.

During the Second World War, Romania tried again to remain neutral, but on June 28, 1940, it received a Soviet ultimatum with an implied threat of invasion in the event of non-compliance. Under pressure from Moscowmarker and Berlinmarker, the Romanian administration and the army were forced to retreat from Bessarabiamarker as well from Northern Bukovina to avoid war. This, in combination with other factors, prompted the government to join the Axis. Thereafter, southern Dobruja was awarded to Bulgaria, while Hungary received Northern Transylvania as result of an Axis arbitration. The authoritarian King Carol II abdicated in 1940, succeeded by the National Legionary State, in which power was shared by Ion Antonescu and the Iron Guard. Within months, Antonescu had crushed the Iron Guard, and the subsequent year Romania entered the war on the side of the Axis powers. During the war, Romania was the most important source of oil for Nazi Germany, which attracted multiple bombing raids by the Allies. By means of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, Romania recovered Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from the Soviet Russia, under the leadership of general Ion Antonescu. The Antonescu regime played a major role in the Holocaust, following to a lesser extent the Nazi policy of oppression and massacre of the Jews, and Romas, primarily in the Eastern territories Romania recovered or occupied from the Soviet Union (Transnistria) and in Moldavia.

In August 1944, Antonescu was toppled and arrested by King Michael I of Romania. Romania changed sides and joined the Allies, but its role in the defeat of Nazi Germany was not recognized by the Paris Peace Conference of 1947. By the end of the war, the Romanian army had suffered about 300,000 casualties. Jewish Holocaust victims totaled 469,000 within the 1939 borders, including 325,000 in Bessarabia and Bukovina.

Communism

(1945–1989)


With Red Army forces still stationed in the country and exerting de facto control, the Communist-dominated government called new elections, which were won with 80% of the vote through intimidation and likely electoral fraud. They thus rapidly established themselves as the dominant political force.

In 1947, the Communists forced King Michael I to abdicate and leave the country, and proclaimed Romania a people's republic. Romania remained under the direct military occupation and economic control of the USSRmarker until the late 1950s. During this period, Romania's vast natural resources were continuously drained by mixed Soviet-Romanian companies (SovRoms) set up for exploitative purposes.

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, the Communist government established a reign of terror, carried out mainly through the Securitate (the new secret police). During this time they launched several campaigns to eliminate "enemies of the state", in which numerous individuals were killed or imprisoned for arbitrary political or economic reasons. Punishment included deportation, internal exile, and internment in forced labour camps and prisons; dissent was vigorously suppressed. A notorious experiment in this period took place in the Piteşti prison, where a group of political opponents were put into a program of reeducation through torture. Historical records show hundreds of thousands of abuses, deaths and incidents of torture against a wide range of people, from political opponents to ordinary citizens.

A very large nationalization scheme had been established by the communist State as from 1948. It did not only impacted industries, factories or agriculture productions lands, but also private houses and buildings. The figure of around 400,000 buildings confiscated by the State is regularly mentioned. According to Societatea Academică din România (SAR) between 241.000 and 600.000 properties have been seized by the Romanian state. In an attempt to compensate the owners who cannot get back theirs lands of real estates (A law passed in 1995 allowed the confiscated goods to be sold to tenants), a special fund has been created in 2005: Fondul Proprietatea.

In 1965, Nicolae Ceauşescu came to power and started to pursue independent policies such as being the only Warsaw Pact country to condemn the Soviet-led 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakiamarker, and to continue diplomatic relations with Israelmarker after the Six-Day War of 1967; establishing economic (1963) and diplomatic (1967) relations with the Federal Republic of Germanymarker. Also, close ties with the Arab countries (and the PLO) allowed Romania to play a key role in the IsraelmarkerEgyptmarker and Israel–PLO peace processes. But as Romania's foreign debt sharply increased between 1977 and 1981 (from 3 to 10 billion US dollars), the influence of international financial organisations such as the IMFmarker or the World Bank grew, conflicting with Nicolae Ceauşescu's autarchic policies. He eventually initiated a project of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing policies that impoverished Romanians and exhausted the Romanian economy, while also greatly extending the authority of the police state, and imposing a cult of personality. These led to a dramatic decrease in Ceauşescu's popularity and culminated in his overthrow and execution in the bloody Romanian Revolution of 1989.

In 2006, the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania estimated the number of direct victims of communist repression at two million people. This number does not include people who died in liberty as a result of their treatment in communist prisons, nor does it include people who died because of the dire economic circumstances in which the country found itself.

Present-day democracy

After the revolution, the National Salvation Front, led by Ion Iliescu, took partial multi-party democratic and free market measures. Several major political parties of the pre-war era, such as the Christian-Democratic National Peasants' Party, the National Liberal Party and the Romanian Social Democrat Party were resurrected. After several major political rallies, in April 1990, a sit-in protest contesting the results of the recently held parliamentary elections began in University Square, Bucharestmarker accusing the Front of being made up of former Communists and members of the Securitate. The protesters did not recognize the results of the election, deeming them undemocratic, and asked for the exclusion from the political life of the former high-ranking Communist Party members. The protest rapidly grew to become an ongoing mass demonstration (known as the Golaniad). The peaceful demonstrations degenerated into violence, and the violent intervention of coal miners from the Jiu Valley led to what is remembered as the June 1990 Mineriad.

The subsequent disintegration of the Front produced several political parties including the Romanian Democrat Social Party (later Social Democratic Partymarker), the Democratic Party and the (Alliance for Romania). The first governed Romania from 1990 until 1996 through several coalitions and governments and with Ion Iliescu as head of state. Since then there have been three democratic changes of government: in 1996, the democratic-liberal opposition and its leader Emil Constantinescu acceded to power; in 2000 the Social Democrats returned to power, with Iliescu once again president; and in 2004 Traian Băsescu was elected president, with an electoral coalition called Justice and Truth Alliance. The government was formed by a larger coalition which also includes the Conservative Party and the ethnic Hungarian party.

Post-Cold War Romania developed closer ties with Western Europe, eventually joining NATOmarker in 2004, and hosting in Bucharest the 2008 summit. The country applied in June 1993 for membership in the European Union and became an Associated State of the EU in 1995, an Acceding Country in 2004, and a member on January 1, 2007.

Following the free travel agreement and politic of the post-Cold War period, as well as hardship of the life in the post 1990s economic depression, Romania has an increasingly large diaspora, estimated at over 2 million people. The main emigration targets are Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, UK, Canada and the USA.

Geography

Topographic map of Romania
With a surface area of , Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe. A large part of Romania's border with Serbiamarker and Bulgariamarker is formed by the Danube. The Danube is joined by the Prut River, which forms the border with the Republic of Moldovamarker. The Danube flows into the Black Seamarker within Romania's territory forming the Danube Delta, the second largest and the best preserved delta in Europe, and a biosphere reserve and a biodiversity World Heritage Site. Other important rivers are the Siret, running north-south through Moldavia, the Olt, running from the oriental Carpathian Mountains to Oltenia, and the Mureş, running through Transylvania from East to West.

Romania's terrain is distributed roughly equally between mountainous, hilly and lowland territories. The Carpathian Mountainsmarker dominate the center of Romania, with fourteen of its mountain ranges reaching above the altitude of 2,000 meters. The highest mountain in Romania is Moldoveanu Peakmarker ( ). In south-central Romania, the Carpathians sweeten into hills, towards the Bărăgan Plains. Romania's geographical diversity has led to an accompanying diversity of flora and fauna.

Environment

A high percentage (47% of the land area) of the country is covered with natural and semi-natural ecosystems. Since almost half of all forests in Romania (13% of the country) have been managed for watershed conservation rather than production, Romania has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe. The integrity of Romanian forest ecosystems is indicated by the presence of the full range of European forest fauna, including 60% and 40% of all European brown bears and wolves, respectively. There are also almost 400 unique species of mammals (of which Carpathian chamois are best known), birds, reptiles and amphibians in Romania.

There are almost (almost 5% of the total area) of protected areas in Romania. Of these, Danube Delta Reserve Biosphere is the largest and least damaged wetland complex in Europe, covering a total area of .The significance of the biodiversity of the Danube Delta has been internationally recognised. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve in September 1990, a Ramsar site in May 1991, and over 50% of its area was placed on the World Heritage List in December 1991. Within its boundaries is one of the most extensive reed bed systems in the world. There are two other biosphera reserves: Retezat National Parkmarker and Rodna National Parkmarker.

Flora and fauna

In Romania there have been identified 3,700 plant species from which to date 23 have been declared natural monuments, 74 missing, 39 are endangered, 171 vulnerable and 1,253 are considered rare. The three major vegetation areas in Romania are the alpine zone, the forest zone and the steppe zone. The vegetation is distributed in an storied manner in accordance with the characteristics of soil and climate, but according to altitude as: oak, flasks, linden, ash (in the steppe zone and low hills), beech, oak (between 500 and 1200 meters), spruce, fir, pine (between 1200 and 1800 m), juniper, Mountain Pine and dwarf trees (in 1800 and 2000 meters), alpine meadows consisting of small herbs (over 2000 meters). Off the high valleys, due to persistent moisture, there is a specific vegetation of meadow, reed, rush, sedge, and often with patches of willows, poplars and Arini. In the Danube Delta swamp vegetation is dominant.

The fauna of Romania consists of 33,792 species of animals, 33,085 invertebrate and 707 vertebrate. The vertebrate species consist of 191 fish, 20 amphibian, 30 reptile, 364 bird and 102 mammal species. Fauna is especially broken down by vegetation. Thus, specific floor steppe and forest steppe have the following species: rabbit, hamster, ground squirrel, pheasant, drop, quail, carp, perch, pike, catfish, the forest floor of hardwood (oak and beech): boar, wolf, fox, barbel, woodpecker, and for coniferous forest floor: trout, lynx, deer, goats and specific alpine fauna like black and bald eagles. In particular the Danube Delta is the place where hundreds of species of birds exist, including pelicans, swans, wild geese and flamingos, birds that are protected by law. The delta is also a seasonal stopover for migratory birds. Some rare species of birds in the Dobrogea area are the pelican, cormorant, little deer, Red-breasted Goose, White-fronted Goose and the Mute Swan.

Climate

Owing to its distance from the open sea and position on the southeastern portion of the European continent, Romania has a climate that is transitional between temperate and continental with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) in the south and in the north. The extreme recorded temperatures are in Ion Sionmarker 1951 and in Bodmarker 1942.

Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summers are generally very warm to hot, with summer (June to August) average maximum temperatures in Bucharest being around , with temperatures over fairly common in the lower-lying areas of the country.Minima in Bucharest and other lower-lying areas are around , but at higher altitudes both maxima and minima decline considerably. Autumn is dry and cool, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage. Winters can be cold, with average maxima even in lower-lying areas being no more than and below in the highest mountains, where some areas of permafrost occur on the highest peaks.

Precipitation is average with over per year only on the highest western mountains — much of it falling as snow which allows for an extensive skiing industry. In the south-centern parts of the country (around Bucharest) the level of precipitation drops to around , while in the Danube Delta, rainfall levels are very low, and average only around 370 mm.

Demographics

Demographics of Romania between 1961-2003
Ethnic map of Romania in 2002


According to the 2002 census, Romania has a population of 21,698,181 and, similarly to other countries in the region, is expected to gently decline in the coming years as a result of sub-replacement fertility rates. Romanians make up 89.5% of the population. The largest ethnic minorities are Hungarians, who make up 6.6% of the population and Roma, or Gypsies, who make up 2.46% of the population. By the official census 535,250 Roma live in Romania. Hungarians, who are a sizeable minority in Transylvania, constitute a majority in the counties of Harghitamarker and Covasna. Ukrainians, Germans, Lipovans, Turks, Tatars, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Greeks, Russians, Jews, Czechs, Poles, Italians, Armenians, as well as other ethnic groups, account for the remaining 1.4% of the population. Of the 745,421 Germans in Romania in 1930, only about 60,000 remained. In 1924, there were 796,056 Jews in the Kingdom of Romania. The number of Romanians and individuals with ancestors born in Romania living abroad is estimated at around 12 million.

Languages

The official language of Romania is Romanian, an Eastern Romance language related to Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan. Romanian is spoken as a first language by 91% of the population, with Hungarian and Rroma, being the most important minority languages, spoken by 6.7% and 1.1% of the population, respectively. Until the 1990s, there was also a substantial number of German-speaking Transylvanian Saxons, even though many have since emigrated to Germany, leaving only 45,000 native German speakers in Romania. In localities where a given ethnic minority makes up more than 20% of the population, that minority's language can be used in the public administration and justice system, while native-language education and signage is also provided. English and French are the main foreign languages taught in schools. English is spoken by 5 million Romanians, French is spoken by 4–5 million, and German, Italian and Spanish are each spoken by 1–2 million people. Historically, French was the predominant foreign language spoken in Romania, even though English has since superseded it. Consequently, Romanian English-speakers tend to be younger than Romanian French-speakers. Romania is, however, a full member of La Francophonie, and hosted the Francophonie Summit in 2006. German has been taught predominantly in Transylvania, due to traditions tracing back to the Austro-Hungarian rule in this province.

Religion

Romania is a secular state, thus having no national religion. The dominant religious body is the Romanian Orthodox Church, an autocephalous church within the Eastern Orthodox communion; its members make up 86.7% of the population according to the 2002 census. Other important Christian denominations include Roman Catholicism (4.7%), Protestantism (3.7%), Pentecostalism (1.5%) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church (0.9%). Romania also has a Muslim minority concentrated in Dobrogea, mostly of Turkish ethnicity and numbering 67,500 people. Based on the 2002 census data, there are also 6,179 Jews, 23,105 people who are of no religion and/or atheist, and 11,734 who refused to answer. On December 27, 2006, a new Law on Religion was approved under which religious denominations can only receive official registration if they have at least 20,000 members, or about 0.1 percent of Romania's total population.

Largest cities



Bucharestmarker is the capital and the largest city in Romania. At the census in 2002, its population was over 1.9 million. The metropolitan area of Bucharest has a population of about 2.2 million. There are several plans to increase further its metropolitan area to about 20 times the area of the city proper.

There are 5 more cities in Romania, with a population of around 300,000, that are also present in the EU's top 100 most populous cities. These are: Iaşimarker, Cluj-Napocamarker, Timişoaramarker, Constanţamarker, and Craiovamarker. The other cities with populations over 200,000 are Galaţimarker, Braşovmarker, Ploieştimarker, Brăilamarker and Oradeamarker. Another 13 cities have populations over 100,000.

At present, several of the largest cities have a metropolitan area: Constanţa (450,000 people), Braşovmarker, Iaşi (both with around 400,000) and Oradea (260,000) and several others are planned: Timişoara (365,000), Cluj-Napoca (380,000), Brăila-Galaţi (600,000), Craiovamarker (335,000), Bacăumarker and Ploieştimarker.

Education

Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, the Romanian educational system has been in a continuous process of reform that has been both praised and criticized. According to the Law on Education adopted in 1995, the educational system is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Research. Each level has its own form of organization and is subject to different legislation. Kindergarten is optional for children between 3 and 6 years old. Schooling starts at age 7 (sometimes 6), and is compulsory until the 10th grade (which usually corresponds to the age of 17 or 16). Primary and secondary education are divided into 12 or 13 grades. Higher education is aligned with the European higher education area.

Aside from the official schooling system, and the recently-added private equivalents, there exists a semi-legal, informal, fully private tutoring system. Tutoring is mostly used during secondary as a preparation for the various examinations, which are notoriously difficult. Tutoring is widespread, and it can be considered a part of the Education System. It has subsisted and even prospered during the Communist regime.

In 2004, some 4.4 million of the population were enrolled in school. Out of these, 650,000 in kindergarten, 3.11 million (14% of population) in primary and secondary level, and 650,000 (3% of population) in tertiary level (universities). In the same year, the adult literacy rate was 97.3% (45th worldwide), while the combined gross enrollment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schools was 75% (52nd worldwide). The results of the PISA assessment study in schools for the year 2000 placed Romania on the 34th rank out of 42 participant countries with a general weighted score of 432 representing 85% of the mean OECD score. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, in 2006 no Romanian university was included in the first 500 top universities world wide. Using similar methodology to these rankings, it was reported that the best placed Romanian university, Bucharest Universitymarker, attained the half score of the last university in the world top 500.

Romanian high school curricula have recently been censored and restructured, owing to a growing trend of religious conservatism. In 2006, the theory of evolution, which had been taught since the country's Communist era, was dropped from the compulsory curriculum nationwide. Philosophical writers critical of religion, such as Voltaire and Camus have also been removed from the philosophy curriculum. Instead, students are taught 7-day Creationism in Orthodox religion classes, which under new proposals could become compulsory.

Government

Politics

The Constitution of Romania is based on the Constitution of France's Fifth Republic and was approved in a national referendum on December 8, 1991. A plebiscite held in October 2003 approved 79 amendments to the Constitution, bringing it into conformity with European Union legislation. Romania is governed on the basis of multi-party democratic system and of the segregation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers. Romania is a semi-presidential democratic republic where executive functions are shared between the president and the prime minister. The President is elected by popular vote for maximum two terms, and since the amendments in 2003, the terms are five years. The President appoints the Prime Minister, who in turn appoints the Council of Ministers. While the president resides at Cotroceni Palacemarker, the Prime Minister with the Romanian Government is based at Victoria Palacemarker.

The legislative branch of the government, collectively known as the Parliament (Parlamentul României), consists of two chambers – the Senate (Senat), which has 140 members, and the Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputaţilor), which has 346 members. The members of both chambers are elected every four years under a system of party-list proportional representation.

The justice system is independent of the other branches of government, and is made up of a hierarchical system of courts culminating in the High Court of Cassation and Justice, which is the supreme court of Romania. There are also courts of appeal, county courts and local courts. The Romanian judicial system is strongly influenced by the French model, considering that it is based on civil law and is inquisitorial in nature. The Constitutional Court (Curtea Constituţională) is responsible for judging the compliance of laws and other state regulations to the Romanian Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the country. The constitution, which was introduced in 1991, can only be amended by a public referendum, the last one being in 2003. Since this amendment, the court's decisions cannot be overruled by any majority of the parliament.

The country's entry into the European Union in 2007 has been a significant influence on its domestic policy. As part of the process, Romania has instituted reforms including judicial reform, increased judicial cooperation with other member states, and measures to combat corruption. Nevertheless, in 2006 Brussels report, Romania and Bulgariamarker were described as the two most corrupt countries in the EU.

Administrative divisions

Romania is divided into forty-one counties (sing. judeţ, pl. judeţe), plus the municipality of Bucharestmarker (Bucureşti) – which has equal rank. Each county is administered by a county council (consiliu judeţean), responsible for local affairs, as well as a prefect, who is appointed by the central government but cannot be a member of any political party, responsible for the administration of national (central) affairs at the county level. Since 2008, the president of the county council (preşedintele consiliului judeţean) is directly elected by the people, and not by the county council as before that.

Each county is further subdivided into cities (sing. oraş, pl. oraşe) and communes (sing. comună, pl. comune), the former being urban, and the latter being rural localities. There are a total of 319 cities and 2686 communes in Romania. Each city and commune has its own mayor (primar) and local council (consiliu local). 103 of the larger and more urbanised cities have the status of municipality, which gives them greater administrative power over local affairs. Bucharest is also reckoned as a city with municipality status, but it is unique among the other localities in that it is not part of a county. It does not have a county concil, but has a prefect. Bucharest elects a general mayor (primar general) and a general city council (Consiliul General Bucureşti). Each of Bucharest's six sectors also elects a mayor and a local council.

The NUTS-3 level divisions reflect Romania's administrative-territorial structure, and correspond to the 41 counties, and the Bucharestmarker municipality. Cities and communes are NUTS-5 level divisions. The country currently does not have NUTS-4 level divisions, but there are plans to make such associating neighboring localities for better coordination of local development and assimilation of national and European funds.

The 41 counties and Bucharest are grouped into eight development regions corresponding to NUTS-2 divisions in the European Union. Prior to Romania's accession into the European Union, these were called statistical regions, and were used exclusively for statistical purposes. Thus, albeit they formally existed for over 40 years, the regions are publicly a news. There are proposals in the future to cancel county councils (but leave the prefects) and create regional councils instead. This would not change the nomenclature of the country's territorial subdivision, but would presumably allow better coordination of policy at the local level, more autonomy, and a smaller bureaucracy.

There are also proposals to use four NUTS-1 level divisions; they would be called macroregions (Romanian:Macroregiune). NUTS-1 and -2 divisions have no administrative capacity and are instead used for co-ordinating regional development projects and statistical purposes.



Foreign relations

Since December 1989, Romania has pursued a policy of strengthening relations with the West in general, more specifically with the United States and the European Union. It joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisationmarker (NATO) on March 29, 2004, the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2007, and the International Monetary Fundmarker and the World Bank in 1972, and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

The current government has stated its goal of strengthening ties with and helping other Eastern European countries (in particular Moldovamarker, Ukrainemarker and Georgiamarker) with the process of integration with the West. Romania has also made clear since the late 1990s that it supports NATO and EU membership for the democratic former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Romania also declared its public support for Turkeymarker, Croatiamarker and Moldovamarker joining the European Union. With Turkey, Romania shares a privileged economic relation. Because it has a large Hungarian minority, Romania has also developed strong relations with Hungarymarker – the latter supported Romania's bid to join the EU.

In December 2005, President Traian Băsescu and United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an agreement that would allow a U.S. military presence at several Romanian facilities primarily in the eastern part of the country. In May 2009, the American state secretary Hillary Clinton declared that "Romania is one of the most trustworthy and respectable partners of the USA" during a visit of the Romanian foreign minister.

Relations with The Republic of Moldova are special, considering that the two countries practically share the same language, and a fairly common historical background. A movement for unification of Romania and Moldova appeared in the early 1990s after both countries achieved emancipation from communist rule, but quickly faded away with the new Moldovan government that had an agenda to preserve a Moldovan republic independent of Romania. Romania remains interested in Moldovan affairs and has officially rejected the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but the two countries have been unable even to reach agreement on a basic bilateral treaty.

Armed Forces

The Romanian Armed Forces consist of Land, Air, and Naval Forces, and are led by a Commander-in-chief who is managed by the Ministry of Defense. The president is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces during wartime. Of the 90,000 men and women which the Armed Forces comprise, 15,000 are civilians and 75,000 are military personnel—45,800 for land, 13,250 for air, 6,800 for naval forces, and 8,800 in other fields.

The total defence spending currently accounts for 2.05% of total national GDP, which represents approximately 2.9 billion dollars (ranked 39th). However, the Romanian Armed Forces will spend about 11 billion dollars between 2006 and 2011, for modernization and acquisition of new equipment. The Land Forces have overhauled their equipment in the past few years, and today are an army with multiple NATOmarker capabilities, participating in a NATO peacekeeping mission in Afghanistanmarker. The Air Force currently operates modernized Sovietmarker MiG-21LanceR fighters which are due to be replaced by new advanced 4.5 generation Western jet fighters, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, Eurofighter Typhoon or JAS 39 Gripen. Also, in order to replace the bulk of the old transport force, the Air Force ordered seven new C-27J Spartan tactical airlift aircraft which are to be delivered starting with late 2008. Two modernized ex-Royal Navy Type 22 frigates were acquired by the Naval Forces in 2004, and a further four modern missile corvettes will be commissioned until 2010.

Economy

With a GDP of around $264 billion and a GDP per capita (PPP) of $12,285 estimated for 2008, Romania is an upper-middle income country economy and has been part of the European Union since January 1, 2007.

After the 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 and a lack of structural reform. From 2000 onwards, however, the Romanian economy was transformed into one of relative macroeconomic stability, characterised by high growth, low unemployment and declining inflation. In 2006, according to the Romanian Statistics Office, GDP growth in real terms was recorded at 7.7%, one of the highest rates in Europe. Growth dampened to 6.1% in 2007, but was expected to exceed 8% in 2008 because of a high production forecast in agriculture (30–50% higher than in 2007). The GDP grew by 8.9% in the first nine months of 2008, but growth fell to 2.9% in the fourth quarter and stood at 7.1% for the whole 2008 because of the financial crisis.

According to Eurostat data, the Romanian PPS GDP per capita stood at 46% of the EU average in 2008. Unemployment in Romania was at 3.9% in September 2007, which is very low compared to other middle-sized or large European countries such as Polandmarker, France, Germany and Spain. Foreign debt is also comparatively low, at 20.3% of GDP. Exports have increased substantially in the past few years, with a 25% year-on-year rise in exports in the first quarter of 2006. Romania's main exports are clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, cars, military equipment, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). Trade is mostly centred on the member states of the European Union, with Germany and Italy being the country's single largest trading partners. The country, however, maintains a large trade deficit, which increased sharply during 2007 by 50%, to €15 billon.

After a series of privatisations and reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, government intervention in the Romanian economy is somewhat lower than in other European economies. In 2005, the government replaced Romania's progressive tax system with a flat tax of 16% for both personal income and corporate profit, resulting in the country having the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union, a factor which has contributed to the growth of the private sector. The economy is predominantly based on services, which account for 55% of GDP, even though industry and agriculture also have significant contributions, making up 35% and 10% of GDP, respectively. Additionally, 32% of the Romanian population is employed in agriculture and primary production, one of the highest rates in Europe.

Since 2000, Romania has attracted increasing amounts of foreign investment, becoming the single largest investment destination in Southeastern and Central Europe. Foreign direct investment was valued at €8.3 billion in 2006. According to a 2006 World Bank report, Romania currently ranks 49th out of 175 economies in the ease of doing business, scoring higher than other countries in the region such as Hungarymarker and the Czech Republicmarker. Additionally, the same study judged it to be the world's second-fastest economic reformer (after Georgiamarker) in 2006. The average gross wage per month in Romania was 1855 lei in May 2009, equating to €442.48 (US$627.70) based on international exchange rates, and $1110.31 based on purchasing power parity.

Transportation

Due to its location, Romania is a major crossroad for International economic exchange in Europe. However, because of insufficient investment, maintenance and repair, the transport infrastructure does not meet the current needs of a market economy and lags behind Western Europe. Nevertheless, these conditions are rapidly improving and catching up with the standards of Trans-European transport networks. Several projects have been started with funding from grants from ISPA and several loans from International Financial Institutions (World Bank, IMFmarker, etc.) guaranteed by the state, to upgrade the main road corridors. Also, the Government is actively pursuing new external financing or public-private partnerships to further upgrade the main roads, and especially the country's motorway network.

The World Bank estimates that the railway network in Romania comprised of track in 2004, which would make it the fourth largest railroad network in Europe. The railway transport experienced a dramatic fall in freight and passenger volumes from the peak volumes recorded in 1989 mainly due to the decline in GDP and competition from road transport. In 2004, the railways carried 8.64 billion passenger-km in 99 million passenger journeys, and 73 million metric tonnes, or 17 billion ton-km of freight. The combined total transportation by rail constituted around 45% of all passenger and freight movement in the country.

Bucharestmarker is the only city in Romania which has an underground railway system. The Bucharest Metro was only opened in 1979 and is now one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with an average ridership of 600,000 passengers during the workweek.

Tourism

Tourism focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its rich history and is a significant contributor to the Romania's economy. In 2006, the domestic and international tourism generated about 4.8% of gross domestic product and 5.8% of the total jobs (about half a million jobs). Following commerce, tourism is the second largest component of the services sector. Tourism is one of the most dynamic and fastest developing sectors of the economy of Romania and characterized by a huge potential for development. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council Romania is the fourth fastest growing country in the world in terms of travel and tourism total demand with a yearly potential growth of 8% from 2007-2016. Number of tourists grew from 4.8 million in 2002 to 6.6 million in 2004. Similarly, the revenues grew from 400 million in 2002 to 607 in 2004. In 2006, Romania registered 20 million overnight stays by international tourists, an all-time record, but the number for 2007 is expected to increase even more. Tourism in Romania attracted €400 million in investments in 2005.
Over the last years, Romania has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of the foreign visitors were from EU countries), thus attempting to compete with Bulgariamarker, Greecemarker, Italy and Spain. Romania destinations such as Mangaliamarker, Saturnmarker, Venusmarker, Neptunmarker, Olimp, Constantamarker and Mamaiamarker (sometimes called the Romanian Riviera) are among the most popular attraction during summer. During winter, the skiing resorts along the Valea Prahovei and Poiana Braşovmarker are popular with foreign visitors. For their medieval atmosphere and castles, Transylvanian cities such as Sibiumarker, Braşovmarker, Sighişoaramarker, Cluj-Napocamarker, Târgu Mureşmarker have become important touristic attractions for foreigners. Rural tourism focused on folklore and traditions, has become an important alternative recently, and is targeted to promote such sites as Branmarker and its Dracula's Castlemarker, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, the Wooden churches of Maramureş, or the Merry Cemetery in Maramureş Countymarker. Other major natural attractions in Romania such as Danube Delta, Iron Gatesmarker (Danube Gorge), Scărişoara Cavemarker and several other caves in the Apuseni Mountainsmarker have yet to receive great attention.

Culture

Romania has its unique culture, which is the product of its geography and of its distinct historical evolution. Like Romanians themselves, it is fundamentally defined as the meeting point of three regions: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, but cannot be truly included in any of them. The Romanian identity formed on a substratum of mixed Roman and quite possibly Dacian elements, with many other influences. During late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the major influences came from the Slavic peoples who migrated and settled in near Romania; from medieval Greeksmarker, and the Byzantine Empire; from a long domination by the Ottoman Empire; from the Hungarians; and from the Germans living in Transylvania. Modern Romanian culture emerged and developed over roughly the last 250 years under a strong influence from Western culture, particularly French, and German culture.

Arts

The Romanian literature began to truly evolve with the revolutions of 1848 and the union of the two Danubian Principalities in 1859. The Origin of the Romanians began to be discussed and in Transylvania and Romanian scholars began studying in France, Italy and Germany. The German philosophy and French culture were integrated into modern Romanian literature and a new elite of artists led to the appearance of some of the classics of the Romanian literature such as Mihai Eminescu, George Coşbuc, Ioan Slavici. Although they remain little known outside Romania, they are very appreciated within Romania for giving birth to a true Romanian literature by creating modern lyrics with inspiration from the old folklore tales. Of them, Eminescu is considered the most important and influential Romanian poet, and is still very much loved for his creations, and especially the poem Luceafărul. Among other writers that made large contributions around the second half of 19th century are Mihail Kogălniceanu (also the first prime minister of Romania), Vasile Alecsandri, Nicolae Bălcescu, Ion Luca Caragiale, and Ion Creangă.

The first half of the 20th century is regarded by many Romanian scholars as the Golden Age of Romanian culture and it is the period when it reached its main level of international affirmation and a strong connection to the European cultural trends. The most important artist who had a great influence on the world culture was the sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi, a central figure of the modern movement and a pioneer of abstraction, the innovator of world sculpture by immersion in the primordial sources of folk creation. His sculptures blend simplicity and sophistication that led the way for modernist sculptors. As a testimony to his skill, one of his pieces, "Bird in Space" , was sold in an auction for $27.5 million in 2005, a record for any sculpture. In the period between the two world wars, authors like Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga, Eugen Lovinescu, Ion Barbu, Liviu Rebreanu made efforts to synchronize Romanian literature with the European literature of the time. George Enescu, probably the best known Romanian musician, also came from this period; a composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher, the annual George Enescu Festival is held in Bucharest in his honor.

After the world wars, communism brought heavy censorship and used the cultural world as a means to better control the population. Freedom of expression was constantly restricted in various ways, but the likes of Gellu Naum, Nichita Stănescu, Marin Sorescu or Marin Preda managed to escape censorship, broke with "socialist realism" and were the leaders of a small "Renaissance" in Romanian literature. While not many of them managed to obtain international acclaim due to censorship, some, like Constantin Noica, Paul Goma and Mircea Cărtărescu, had their works published abroad even though they were jailed for various political reasons.

Some artists chose to leave the country entirely, and continued to make contributions in exile. Among them Eugen Ionescu, Mircea Eliade and Emil Cioran became renown worldwide for their works. Other literary figures who enjoy acclaim outside of the country include the poet Paul Celan and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, both survivors of the Holocaust. Some famous Romanian artists musicians are the folk artist Tudor Gheorghe, and the virtuoso of the pan flute Gheorghe Zamfir – who is reported to have sold over 120 million albums worldwide.

Romanian cinema has recently achieved worldwide acclaim with the appearance of such films as The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, directed by Cristi Puiu, (Cannes 2005 Prix un certain regard winner), and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, directed by Cristian Mungiu (Cannes 2007 Palme d'Or winner). The latter, according to Variety, is "further proof of Romania's new prominence in the film world."

Monuments

The UNESCOmarker List of World Heritage Sites includes Romanian sites such as the Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvaniamarker, the Painted churches of northern Moldavia with their fine exterior and interior frescoes, the Wooden Churches of Maramures unique examples that combine Gothic style with traditional timber construction, the Monastery of Horezu, the citadel of Sighişoaramarker, and the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountainsmarker. Romania's contribution to the World Heritage List stands out because it consists of some groups of monuments scattered around the country, rather than one or two special landmarks. Also, in 2007, the city of Sibiumarker famous for its Brukenthal National Museummarker is the European Capital of Culture alongside the city of Luxembourgmarker.

National Flag

The national flag of Romania is a tricolour with vertical stripes: beginning from the flagpole, blue, yellow and red. It has a width-length ratio of 2:3. Romania's national flag is very similar to that of Chadmarker.

Sports

Football is by far the most popular sport in Romania. The governing body is the Romanian Football Federation, which belongs to UEFA. The top division of the Romanian Professional Football League attracted an average of 5417 spectators per game in the 2006–07 season. At international level, the Romanian National Football Team has taken part 7 times in the Football World Cup, and it had the most successful period throughout the 1990s, when during the 1994 World Cup in the United Statesmarker, Romania reached the quarter-finals and was ranked by FIFAmarker on the 6th place. The core player of this "Golden Generation" and perhaps the best known Romanian player internationally is Gheorghe Hagi (nicknamed the Maradona of the Carpathians). Famous currently active players are Adrian Mutu and Cristian Chivu. The most famous football club is Steaua Bucureşti, who in 1986 became the first Eastern European club ever to win the prestigious European Champions Cup title, and who played the final again in 1989. Another successful Romanian team Dinamo Bucureşti played a semifinal in the European Champions Cup in 1984 and a Cup Winners Cup semifinal in the 1990. Other important Romanian football clubs are Rapid Bucureşti, CFR 1907 Cluj-Napoca and FC Universitatea Craiova.

Tennis is the second most popular sport in terms of registered sportsmen. Romania reached the Davis Cup finals three times (1969, 1971, 1972). The tennis player Ilie Năstase won several Grand Slam titles and dozens of other tournaments, and was the first player to be ranked as number 1 by ATP from 1973 to 1974. The Romanian Open is held every fall in Bucharest since 1993.

Popular team sports are rugby union (national rugby team has so far competed at every Rugby World Cup), basketball and handball. Some popular individual sports are: athletics, chess, sport dance, and martial arts and other fighting sports.

Romanian gymnastics has had a large number of successes – for which the country became known worldwide. In the 1976 Summer Olympics, the gymnast Nadia Comăneci became the first gymnast ever to score a perfect ten. She also won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze, all at the age of fifteen. Her success continued in the 1980 Summer Olympics, where she was awarded two gold medals and two silver medals.

Romania participated in for the first time in the Olympic Games in 1900 and has taken part in 18 of the 24 summer games. Romania has been one of the more successful countries at the Summer Olympic Games (15th overall) with a total of 283 medals won throughout the years, 82 of which are gold medals. Winter sports have received little investments and thus only a single bronze medal was won by Romanian sportsmen in the Winter Olympic Games.

See also



Notes



References

  1. Explanatory Dictionary of the Romanian Language, 1998; New Explanatory Dictionary of the Romanian Language, 2002
  2. Vlad III (ruler of Walachia). Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
  3. Note: follow the World War II link:
  4. Martin Gilbert. Atlas of the Holocaust. 1988
  5. Law Nr. 119 of June 11th 1948
  6. mostly by the Decree 92/1950, 111/1951, 224/1951, 513/1953, and 409/1955 - direct link to the 92/1950 decree (Romanian Chamber of Deputies)
  7. SAR Brief Policy n°34, September 2008, page 5 : direct link to the survey
  8. 2002 census data, based on Population by ethnicity, gives a total of 535,250 Roma in Romania. This figure is disputed by other sources, because at the local level, many Roma declare a different ethnicity (mostly Romanian, but also Hungarian in the West and Turkish in Dobruja) for fear of discrimination. Many are not recorded at all, since they do not have ID cards. International sources give higher figures than the official census( UNDP's Regional Bureau for Europe, World Bank, .
  9. http://www.bucharestherald.com/politics/34-politics/3116-hillary-clinton-romania-one-of-the-most-trustworthy-and-respectable-partners-of-the-usa-
  10. Law no. 75 of 16 July 1994, published in Monitorul Oficial no. 237 of 26 August 1994.
  11. Governmental Decision no. 1157/2001, published in Monitorul Oficial no. 776 of 5 December 2001.
  12. Romanians were for example stereotyped as gymnasts, as in the South Park episode Quintuplets 2000


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