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Romania (formerly spelled Rumania or Roumania) is a country in southeastern Europe. Romania is bordered by Ukraine and Moldova in the northeast, Hungary and Serbia in the west and Bulgaria to the south. Romania also has a small sea coast on the Black Sea.

(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: none
Official languageRomanian
PresidentIon Iliescu
Prime MinisterAdrian Năstase;
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 78th
238,391 km²
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 49th
Independence9 May 1877 (from the Ottoman Empire)
Time zoneUTC +2/+3
National anthemDeşteaptă-te, Romāne;
Internet TLD.RO
Calling Code40

Table of contents
1 Name
2 History
3 Politics
4 Counties
5 Geography
6 Economy
7 Demographics
8 Culture
9 Miscellaneous topics
10 External links


The name Romania comes from Rome or the (Eastern) Roman Empire and represents the country's origins. In Late Antiquity the Roman Empire was often called simply Romania in Latin. The official language is Romanian.

Some Greek intellectuals have argued that the medieval Byzantine Empire should more properly be called Romania, but this has not caught on.


Main article: History of Romania

The Dacians were defeated by the Roman Empire in 106, which marked the beginning of a succession of invasions of Romania, although the rulers usually allowed a high degree of autonomy.

In the Middle Ages Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. The first two were under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, but with internal autonomy, the third at first belonged to Hungary, also having a large autonomy, then to Austria-Hungary.

The modern Romania was born when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia merged in 1859, and became independent in 1877. The country was expanded after World War I, when Transylvania, Bucovina and Bassarabia were included.

Parts of Romania were incorporated by the Soviet Union in 1940, mostly comprising the present-day country of Moldova with small portions assigned to Ukraine. After the Second World War, Romania became a communist nation under pressure of the Soviet Union.

The decades-long reign of president Nicolae Ceauşescu; was ended with an uprising in late 1989, although ex-communists continue to be present in the democratically elected government.

See also: Kings of Romania


Main article: Politics of Romania

The legislative branch of the Romanian government consists of two chambers, the Senat (Senate), which has 140 members, and the Camera Deputaţilor (Chamber of Deputies), which has 345 members. The members of both chambers are chosen in elections held every four years.

The president, the head of the executive branch, is also elected by popular vote, every five years (until 2004 - four years). The president appoints a prime minister, who will head the council of ministers, who are in turn appointed by the prime minister.


Administrative map of Romania |
Transylvania is green, Wallachia blue, the Moldavian region red, and Dobrogea yellow.

Main article: Counties of Romania

Romania is divided into 41 judeţe, or counties, and the municipality of Bucharest (Bucureşti) - the capital.

The counties are (in alphabetical order):


Main article: Geography of Romania

A large part of Romania's borders with Yugoslavia and Bulgaria is formed by the Danube. The Danube is joined by the Prut River, which forms the border with Moldova.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate the western part of Romania, with peaks up to 2,500 m, the highest, Moldoveanu, reaching 2,544 m.

Major cities are the capital Bucharest, Braşov;, Timişoara;, Cluj-Napoca, Constanţa;, Craiova, and Iaşi; (Jassy).

See also:


Main article:
Economy of Romania

After the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989-91, Romania was left with an obsolete industrial base and a pattern of industrial capacity wholly unsuited to its needs.

In February 1997, Romania embarked on a comprehensive macroeconomic stabilisation and structural reform programme, but reform subsequently has been a frustrating stop-and-go process. Restructuring programs include liquidating large energy-intensive industries and major agricultural and financial sector reforms.

Romania's lagging and unstable economy has been transformed into one with macroeconomic stability, high growth and low unemployment.

Romania reached an agreement with the IMF in August for a US $547547 million loan, but release of the second tranche was postponed in October because of unresolved private sector lending requirements and differences over budgetary spending.

Bucharest avoided defaulting on mid-year lump-sum debt payments, but had to significantly draw down reserves to do so; reserves rebounded to an estimated $1.5 billion by year end 1999.

The government's priorities include: obtaining renewed IMF lending, tightening fiscal policy, accelerating privatisation, and restructuring unprofitable firms.

2002 and 2003 were successful economic years, and currently GDP growth is forecast at 4.5% per annum. The economy grew by 6.1% in the first quarter of 2004. The average gross wage per month in Romania is 8,292,762 lei as of April 2004, an increase of a significant 7.8% over the previous month. This equates to US$246.90, 203.41 euro and 352.56 AUD. The average net salary per month in January 2004 was 5,969,555 lei.

Unemployment in Romania is at 6.5% (2004), which is very low compared to other European countries.

Romania was invited by the European Union in December 1999 to begin accession negotiations. It is expected to join the EU in 2007 along with Bulgaria.


Main article: Demographics of Romania

The official language is Romanian, a Romance language of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, which are also called Romanic, and are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but mainly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Sizeable minorities of Hungarian (according to the 2002 census, 6.6% of the population) and German descent, mostly in Transylvania, also speak Hungarian and German. Other ethnic groups include Roma Gypsies and natives of Romania's neighbouring countries. The true size of the Roma population is unknown because it is undercounted in national censuses (for various reasons, some Gypsies choose to declare themselves as Romanians or Hungarians; usually the criterion is the language they speak). There is also small Polish minority (numbering a few thousand people) living in Suceava County.

Most Romanians are members of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is one of the churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Catholicism (both Roman Catholic and Romanian Catholic) and Protestantism are also represented, mostly in the areas inhabited by population of Hungarian descent, mostly in the western part of the country.

In Dobrogea, the region lying on the shore of the Black Sea, there is a small Muslim minority (most of Turkish ethnicity), a remnant of the Ottoman colonization of that province in the past.


Main article: Culture of Romania

See also:

Miscellaneous topics

External links

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Other recognised candidate countries: Croatia | Turkey

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