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Flag of Romania Coat of Arms of Romania
(Flag) (Coat of Arms)
Motto: none
former Royal motto: "Nihil Sine Deo" (Nothing without God)
Anthem: Deşteaptă-te, române!
Location of Romania
Capital Bucharest
44°25′ N 26°06′ E
Largest city Bucharest
Official languages Romanian
Government Democratic republic
Traian Băsescu
Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
- Declared
- Recognised
Romanian War of Independence
10 May 1877
13 July 1878 (Treaty of Berlin)
 • Total
 • Water (%)
238,391 km² (78th)
 • 2004 est.
 • 2002 census
 • Density
22,355,551 (49th)
91.3/km² (102nd)
 • Total
 • Per capita
2005 estimate
213.892 billion USD (42th)
10,028 USD (63rd)
Currency Leu (RON)
Time zone
 • Summer (DST)
Internet TLD .ro
Calling code +40

Romania (formerly also spelled Rumania or Roumania; Romanian: România) is a country in Europe. It is bordered by Ukraine and Moldova in the northeast; Hungary in the west; Serbia 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.



Main article: Etymology of Romania

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").


Main article: History of Romania

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 238256 forced the Roman Empire to reorganize a new Roman province of Dacia south of Danube, inside former Moesia Superior.

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, and Transylvania.

Wallachia and Moldavia came 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 Bugeac to the Ottoman Empire.

Transylvania came under control of the Kingdom of Hungary by the 11th century (since 1301 Hungary and Transylvania became possessions of the Houses of Anjou and Habsburg). One of its great rulers -- Matthias Corvinus, ruled between 1458 and 1490 -- is claimed by both Romanians and Hungarians. Later, in 1526, it 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 Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), Romanians in Transylvania experienced heavy oppression in the form of the Magyarization policies of the Hungarian government.

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 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 dictatorial King Carol II abdicated and Romania entered the war joining Nazi Germany, 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 by the Romanian government in 2004, Romania killed at least 280,000 to 380,000 Jews, primarily in Moldavia (historical region) and in the Eastern territories Romania occupied, 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 1946.

Controlling Romania through the Red Army stationed in the country, communists orchestrated the biggest election fraud of 1946, climbing to power after 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.

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 transformed Romania into a 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)

Principalty of Romania

Alexandru Ioan Cuza Prince of Romania 1859, Jan 24 - 1866, Feb 11
Princely Lieutenancy 1866, Feb 11 - 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, Sep 27
Ferdinand I King of Romania 1914, Sep 28 - 1927, Jul 20
Mihai I King of Romania (minor, Regency Council) 1927, Jul 20 - 1930, Jun 8
Carol II King of Romania 1930, Jun 8 - 1940, Sep 6
Mihai I King of Romania 1940, Sep 6 - 1947, Dec 30

People's Republic of Romania

Dr. Constantin I. Parhon President of the Provisional Presidium 1947, Dec 30 - 1948, Apr 13
President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly 1948, Apr 13 - 1952, Jun 12
Dr. Petru Groza President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly 1952, Jun 12 - 1958, Jan 7
Ion Gheorghe Maurer President of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly 1958, Jan 11 - 1961, Mar 21
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej President of the State Council 1961, Mar 21 - 1965, Mar 19
Chivu Stoica President of the State Council 1965, Mar 24 - 1967, Dec 9

Socialist Republic of Romania (from 1965, Aug 21)

Chivu Stoica President of the State Council 1965, Mar 24 - 1967, Dec 9
Nicolae Ceauşescu President of the State Council 1967, Dec 9 - 1974, Mar 28
President 1974, Mar 28 - 1989, Dec 22

Republic of Romania

Ion Iliescu President of the National Salvation Front Council 1989, Dec 22 - 1990, Feb 6
President of the Provisional National Unity Council 1990, Feb 6 - 1992, May 20
President 1992, May 20 - 1996, Nov 17
Emil Constantinescu President 1996, Nov 17 - 2000, Dec
Ion Iliescu President 2000, Dec 20 - 2004, Dec 20
Traian Băsescu President 2004, Dec 21 -

See also: Kings of Romania, Bessarabia, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania


Main article: Politics of Romania

Romania is a democratic republic. The legislative branch of the Romanian government consists of two chambers, the Senat (Senate), which has 137 members (as of 2005), and the Camera Deputaţilor (Chamber of Deputies), which has 332 members (as of 2004). The members of both chambers are elected every four years.

The President, the head of the executive branch, is also elected by popular vote, every five years (until 2005, four years). The president appoints a prime minister, who heads the government, the members of which are in turn appointed by the prime minister. The government is subject to a parliamentary vote of approval.

Administrative divisions

Main article: Counties of Romania

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):

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


Main article: Geography of Romania

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.

Romanian sightseeing

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 has a fairly distributed landscape, having 34% mountains, 33% hills and 33% lowlands.

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 Carpathian Mountains
   2 Negoiu    2,535 m Carpathian Mountains
   3 Parangul Mare    2,518 m Carpathian Mountains

Major cities are the capital Bucharest, Iaşi, Timişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Constanţa, Craiova, Braşov, and Galaţi.

See also:

Largest cities

# 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. Bacau 175,500 Bacau County

Source: National Institute of Statistics, 2002 Census

Unofficially, sociologists say that in its 228 km², Bucharest has more than 3.5 million people, coming from every corner of the country.


Stop! The neutrality of this section is disputed.

Main article: Economy of Romania

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 $8,258 in 2005. The national budget is EUR 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.

The World Trade Center in Bucharest
The World Trade Center in Bucharest

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.

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.


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$3.8 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.

Main indicators of the exports and imports of Romania's economy:

# 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
1. Exports 20 Bn€ 23 Bn€ 26 Bn€ (est.) 29 Bn€ (est.) 33 Bn€(est.)
2. Imports 28 Bn€ 31 Bn€ 36 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.)


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.


Romania's level of international debt is estimated at $24.59 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$2 billion of the US$2.5 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 EUR 19 billion, covering more than 7 months of imports. [1] [2] [3]


The average gross wage per month in Romania is 963 new lei as of August 2005, an increase of 0.6% over the previous month. This equates to €269.75 and US$325.34. The average net salary per month in August 2005 was 734 new lei (€205.60), an increase of 0.5%, over the previous month. In 2009 it is calculated that the average wage will be 414€, and 339€ in 2007 respectively according to the Comisia Nationala de Prognoza (CNP).


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
1. GDP 70 Bn€ 77Bn€ 86Bn€ 90Bn€ (est.)
2. GDP ( %real change pa) +5.3% +8.3% +7% +7% (est.)
3. GDP per capita (€) 2350 € 2600 € 3100€ 4000€ (est.)
4. GDP per capita (€ at PPP) 7700 € 8000 € 8500€ 9000€ (est.)
5. Inflation 14% 9.2% 7% 5% (est.)
6. Minimum wage 285 RON=82€ 310 RON=89€ 330RON=95€ 360RON=105€ (est.)
7. Medium gross wage 765 RON=220€ 870 RON=250€ 995RON=285€ 1145RON=335€ (est.)
8. Unemployment 6.4% 6.3% 5.6% 5% (est.)
9. FDI 3.9bn€ 5.1bn€ 6bn€ 7.7bn€ (est.)
10. Foreign-exchange reserves (bn€) 14bn€ 16bn€ 20bn€ 30bn€ (est.)
11. Mobile phone users 9,000,000 10,000,000 11,860,000 14,000,000 (est.)
12. Cars production (units) 160,000 240,000 320,000 500,000(est.)
13. Internet users 5,180,000 7,800,000 10,400,000 13,600,000(est.)

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.)

National Holidays

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).

Sport in Romania

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 Nastase, 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).


Main article: Demographics of Romania


Ethnic groups (Census 2001):

An October 2005 report estimates that 1,061,400 Romanians are living in Italy, constituting 37.2% of 2.8 million immigrants in that country. [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.

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 that 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).

Some people say that the Roma population is undercounted in national censuses (by this account, some Roma choose to declare themselves as Romanians or Hungarians). The Roma people are commonly known in Romania as ţigani (tzigany). Most of them live a nomadic life.


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 most of them have left the country since the fall of communism and the accompanying opening of borders.


Religions (2002 Census):

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), a remnant of the Ottoman rule and migrations from Crimea, respectively.


Main article: Culture of Romania

There are many TV stations in Romania like: TVR, PRO-TV, PRIMA-TV, Antena1, REALITATEA TV.

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

See also:

Miscellaneous topics


International rankings

External links

Official links

Travel guides



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