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Romania is a country of Southeast Europe with a short coastline on the Black Sea.

Originally a Roman province, the area was conquered from the 3rd to the 12th century by a succession of invaders, including Goths, Huns, Magyars, and Mongols. In the 13th century two principalities, Moldavia and Walachia, emerged, becoming vassal states within the Turkish Empire and eventually Russian protectorates. They were united in 1861 and became independent in 1878. The rise of fascism in the 1930s led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a dictatorship in 1940. Following Romania's surrender to the USSR during World War II, the country was declared (1947) a communist republic, which was overthrown in 1989 with army-supported countrywide revolts.

Bucharest is the capital and the largest city. Population: 22,736,000.

Romania Country: Geography

Romania guide
The Rough Guide to Romania

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine Map references: Ethnic Groups in Eastern Europe, Europe

Area: total area: 237,500 sq km land area: 230,340 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon Land boundaries: total 2,508 km, Bulgaria 608 km, Hungary 443 km, Moldova 450 km, Serbia and Montenegro 476 km (all with Serbia), Ukraine (north) 362 km, Ukraine (south) 169 km Coastline: 225 km

Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 nm continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm International disputes: certain territory of Moldova and Ukraine - including Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina - are considered by Bucharest as historically a part of Romania; this territory was incorporated into the former Soviet Union following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1940

Climate: temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms

Terrain: central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps Natural resources: petroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt

Land use: arable land: 43% permanent crops: 3% meadows and pastures: 19% forest and woodland: 28% other: 7% Irrigated land: 34,500 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: soil erosion and degradation; water pollution; air pollution in south from industrial effluents; contamination of Danube delta wetlands natural hazards: earthquakes most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea Note: controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine


Romania People:

Taste of Romania
Taste of Romania: Its Cookery and Glimpses of Its History, Folklore, Art, Literature, and Poetry (New Hippocrene Original Cookbooks)

Population: 23,198,330 (July 1995 est.) note: the Romanian census of January 1992 gives the population for that date as 22.749 million; the government estimates that population declined in 1993 by 0.3%

Nationality: noun: Romanian(s) adjective: Romanian

Ethnic divisions: Romanian 89.1%, Hungarian 8.9%, German 0.4%, Ukrainian, Serb, Croat, Russian, Turk, and Gypsy 1.6%

Religions: Romanian Orthodox 70%, Roman Catholic 6% (of which 3% are Uniate), Protestant 6%, unaffiliated 18%

Languages: Romanian, Hungarian, German


Romania Government:

Romania Government
Romania Government and Business Contacts Handbook (World Investment and Business Library)

Digraph: RO Type: republic

Capital: Bucharest

Administrative divisions: 40 counties (judete, singular - judet) and 1 municipality* (municipiu); Alba, Arad, Arges, Bacau, Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Botosani, Braila, Brasov, Bucuresti*, Buzau, Calarasi, Caras-Severin, Cluj, Constanta, Covasna, Dimbovita, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Giurgiu, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomita, Iasi, Maramures, Mehedinti, Mures, Neamt, Olt, Prahova, Salaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Vaslui, Vilcea, Vrancea Independence: 1881 (from Turkey; republic proclaimed 30 December 1947) National holiday: National Day of Romania, 1 December (1990)

Constitution: 8 December 1991 Legal system: former mixture of civil law system and Communist legal theory; is now based on the Constitution of France's Fifth Republic

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Ion ILIESCU (since 20 June 1990, previously President of Provisional Council of National Unity since 23 December 1989); election last held 27 September 1992, with runoff between top two candidates on 11 October 1992 (next to be held NA 1996); results - Ion ILIESCU 61.4%, Emil CONSTANTINESCU 38.6% head of government: Prime Minister Nicolae VACAROIU (since November 1992) cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament Senate (Senat)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice, Constitutional Court


Romania Economy

Post-Communist Romania
Post-Communist Romania: Coming to Terms With Transition

Overview: Despite the continuing difficulties in moving away from the former command system, the Romanian economy seems to have bottomed out in 1993-94. Market oriented reforms have been introduced fitfully since the downfall of CEAUSESCU in December 1989, with the result a growing private sector, especially in services. The slow pace of structural reform, however, has exacerbated Romania's high inflation rate and eroded real wages. Agricultural production rebounded in 1993 from the drought-reduced harvest of 1992. The economy continued its recovery in 1994, further gains being realized in agriculture, construction, services, and trade. Food supplies are adequate but expensive. Romania's infrastructure had deteriorated over the last five years due to reduced levels of public investment. Residents of the capital reported frequent disruptions of heating and water services. The slow and painful process of conversion to a more open economy will continue in 1995. National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $64.7 billion (1994 est.) National product real growth rate: 3.4% (1994 est.) National product per capita: $2,790 (1994 est.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 62% (1994) Unemployment rate: 10.9% (December 1994)

Budget: revenues: $8.3 billion expenditures: $9.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Exports: $6 billion (f.o.b., 1994) commodities: metals and metal products 17.6%, mineral products 11.9%, textiles 18.5%, electric machines and equipment 8.4%, transport materials 6.5% (1994) partners: EC 36.1%, developing countries 27.4%, East and Central Europe 14.9%, EFTA 5.1%, Russia 5%, Japan 1.4%, US 1.3% (1993)

Imports: $6.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994) commodities: minerals 21.1%, machinery and equipment 19.7%, textiles 11.5%, agricultural goods 9.2% (1994) partners: EC 45.8%, East and Central Europe 8.6%, developing countries 22.6%, Russia 11%, EFTA 6.2%, US 5.0%, Japan 0.8% (1993) External debt: $4.4 billion (1994) Industrial production: growth rate -1% (1993 est.); accounts for 45% of GDP

Electricity: capacity: 22,180,000 kW production: 50.8 billion kWh consumption per capita: 2,076 kWh (1993) Industries: mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, machine building, food processing, petroleum production and refining

Agriculture: accounts for 18% of GDP and 28% of labor force; major wheat and corn producer; other products - sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, milk, eggs, meat, grapes Illicit drugs: transshipment point for southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine transiting the Balkan route Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 leu (L) = 100 bani

Exchange rates: lei (L) per US$1 - 1,776.00 (January 1995), 1,655.09 (1994), 760.05 (1993), 307.95 (1992), 76.39 (1991), 22.432 (1990) Fiscal year: calendar year



Travel map
Romania Road & Travel Map by Cartographia

Railroads: total: 11,365 km broad gauge: 45 km 1.524-m gauge standard gauge: 10,893 km 1.435-m gauge (3,723 km electrified; 3,060 km double track) narrow gauge: 427 km 0.760-m gauge (1994)

Highways: total: 461,880 km paved: 235,559 km (113 km of expressways) unpaved: 226,321 km (1992) Inland waterways: 1,724 km (1984) Pipelines: crude oil 2,800 km; petroleum products 1,429 km; natural gas 6,400 km (1992) Ports: Braila, Constanta, Galatz, Mangalia, Sulina, Tulcea

Merchant marine: total: 238 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,528,971 GRT/3,849,943 DWT ships by type: bulk 46, cargo 167, container 2, oil tanker 14, passenger-cargo 1, railcar carrier 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7 note: in addition, Romania owns 20 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,207,388 DWT that operate under Liberian, Maltese, Cypriot, and Bahamian registry

Airports: total: 156 with paved runways over 3,047 m: 4 with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 14 with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1 with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 17 with unpaved runways under 914 m: 108