Romania -Country Profile

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Flag | Full Country Name | Capital City | Population | Languages | Religion | Geography | Climate | History | Government | Time | Electricity | Measures & Weights | Communications | Health | Public & School Hollidays | Shoping & Banking Hours | Currency | Visas & Passports

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FLAG: red, yellow and blue (near the standard-bearer)- 3 vertical stripes. It has been adopted as a flag during the 1848 Revolution in the Romanian Country. The escutcheon, adopted in 1992, represents an eagle carrying a cross in his beak and a sword and a sceptre in his claws, symbolising the historical provinces Walachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, Dobrogea and Banat. Read Romanian flag Coat of arms

FULL COUNTRY NAME: Romania-adopted in 1862, following the unification of Moldavia and The Romanian Country.

CAPITAL CITY: Bucharest (population 2,037,278 - in 1996)

POPULATION: 23,395,848 (1998); density 94.8/square kilometre; structure: 89 % Romanians, 7% Hungarians and smaller minorities of Germans, Gypsies, Serbs, Ukrainians, Turks, Croats, Greeks, Armenians, Polish, Jews.
Romanians outside Romania: approximately 9 million

LANGUAGES: official language: Romanian, of Latin origin. Spoken languages: Hungarian, German, English, French. Read more about Romanian language evolution

RELIGION: Romanian Orthodox 83%, with Roman Catholic, Unitarian, Reformed / Lutheran, Muslim, Neo-Protestant and Jewish minorities.

GEOGRAPHY:

-Area: 238,391 square km / 92043 square miles, 12th place in Europe
-Borders: Ukraine (169 km) and Moldavia (450 km) at north and east
Hungary (443 km) at north-west
Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro (476 km) at south-west
Bulgaria (608 km) at south
The Black Sea Coast (225 km) at south-east
-Physical features: 31% mountains, the Romanian Carpathians (the eastern Carpathians maximum altitude Pietrosu Peak 2303m, the southern Carpathians - maximum altitude Moldoveanu Peak 2543 m, western Carpathians – maximum altitude Cucurbata Mare Peak 1849m)
33% hills and plateaux (the Transylvanian Plateau in the centre, 400-700 metres altitude, the Somes Plateau in the north-west, the Moldavian Plateau in the east and the Dobrogea Plateau in the south-west.
36% plains- The most important one is the Romanian Plain in the southern part of Romania.
The Danube Delta is situated north of the Dobrogea Plateau and has three arms flowing into the Danube river: Chilia, Sulina and Sf. Gheorghe.
Read more about GEOGRAPHY OF ROMANIA

CLIMATE – temperate: cold, cloudy winters with fog and heaps of snow (the coldest winters are in the Carpathians Mountains where the snow lasts until April and the mildest are on the seacoast). Hot and sunny summers (especially inland at sea level) with frequent showers and thunderstorms. The annual average rainfall is of 677 mm (1000-1400mm in the mountains, less than 400 mm on the coast). More about Romania Climate

HISTORY

The ancient Romania was inhabited by Thracian tribes which settled in the region in 3000 B.C. Getto-Dacians (one of the Thracian tribes), the ancestors of modern Romanians, emerged around 650 B.C. The first Getto - Dacian state was founded during the reign of King Burebista (70-44 B.C.)

106 A.C. Roman forces, led by Emperor Traian conquered Dacia (led by King Decebal) which remained a province of the Roman Empire until 271 A.C., when Emperor Aurelian withdrew the Roman legions. Romanised Walach peasants remained in Dacia, forming the Romanian people. The Romanian language is part of the Roman languages family and is the heir of the Latin language spoken in the Roman province of Dacia.

By the 10th century, the Romanian states emerged and their consolidation led to the formation of the principalities of Walachia, Transylvania and Moldavia.

By the 13th century Transylvania was attached to the Hungarian Crown.

At the end of the 14th century a great danger threatened Walachia and Moldavia’s independence: the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. There were two heroic figures at this time: the Prince of Walachia, Vlad Tepes (later to become associated with Dracula) and Stephen the Great, the Moldavian Prince.

In the 16th century Transylvania became an autonomous principality of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of this century, in Transylvania, Michael the Brave, Prince of Walachia, defeated the Turkish troops.

In 1600 Michael the Brave united Walachia, Moldavia and Transylvania for the first time and became Prince of the three Romanian countries. Only one year after, the Habsburg forces defeated Michael the Brave, beheaded him and recovered Transylvania. In 1686 Transylvania fell under Habsburg rule, following the Treaty of Wienna and the Ottomans continued to exercise their suzerainty in Moldavia and Walachia.
The Habsburg Empire took Bucovina (the northern part of Moldavia) in 1775 and Russia annexed Basarabia (eastern Moldavia) in 1812.
Following the Russian-Turkish War (1828-1829), Moldavia and Walachia gained their independence from the Ottomans.

In 1859 the two Principalities were unified and Romania became independent. Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected ruler of Walachia and Moldavia. In 1862 he created a national state, named Romania and Bucharest was proclaimed capital.

In 1866 King Carol I (of German nationality) followed Alexandru Ioan Cuza and in 1881 he proclaimed Romania as kingdom and himself as its king. A new Constitution was adopted.

Following his death, his nephew Ferdinand I, replaced him (1916) and took the country into war on the side of the Triple Entente. The objective was to liberate Transylvania from Austria-Hungary.

1st December 1918: Transylvania became part of Romania. At the end of the war, Bucovina, Basarabia and part of Banat became part of Romania, which almost doubled the country’s territory.

In 1922 King Ferdinand was crowned monarch of the New Greater Romania. After his death in 1927, the six-year-old grandson, Michael, reigned until 1930 when Carol II, Michael's father, forced the former to abdicate. In 1938 Carol II established a royal dictatorship and all political parties were banned.

In 1940, under the terms of Molotov-Ribentropp Pact, Romania lost Basarabia and Bucovina in favour of the USSR. Romania was also forced to give the northern part of Transylvania to Hungary, while Bulgaria took Dobrogea.

General Antonescu took over when King Carol II stepped down in September 1940, and joined Hitler's anti-Soviet War in 1941. Soon Romania recovered Basarabia from the USSR.

In 1944 Romania switched sides and fought on the side of the Allied Forces.

By October 1944 Romania regained Transylvania, but lost northern Bucovina and Basarabia to the USSR under the terms of the Paris Peace Treaty.

In 1946 the Communists won the elections, with a great help from Moscow. One year later King Michael was forced to abdicate, a People's Republic was proclaimed and communism's rule started.

In 1948 the Romanian Communists and Social Democrats united and created Romanian Workers’ Party.

In 1965 the Romanian Worker's Party changed their name into the Romanian Communist Party, and Nicolae Ceausescu become the Party's first secretary.

In 1968 Romania was the only country member of the Warsaw Pact which did not intervene in Czechoslovakia.

In 1978 Ceausescu proclaimed himself "President of Romania."

By impoverishing the Romanian people (food & petrol were rationed, television broadcasts reduced to 1-2 hours / day) Ceausescu paid off USD 9 billion foreign debt by 1989.

In 1987, in Brasov, a mass demonstration (over 15,000 workers) was repressed by armed forces.

In 1984 Ceausescu ordered 2 monasteries, 26 historic churches and the homes of over 35,000 people to be destroyed in order to redesign Bucharest's centre. Another brilliant idea of Ceausescu's was "the systemisation". 11,000 villages were to be destroyed and their inhabitants moved to "agricultural-industrial housing complexes". Fortunately, an international protest stopped this project.
During 1989 communist regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed.

On 15th December 1989 mass protests in Timisoara were followed by a nation-wide revolt. 690 people were killed in Bucharest, Timisoara and other big cities.

On 22nd December the Ceausescu couple tried to flee Romania, but they were arrested and few days later, on Christmas Day, they were tried secretly by a military court and executed.

On 26th December 1989, the National Salvation Front , lead by Ion Iliescu, former party activist of the 2nd echelon, seized the popular movement that brought Ceausescu's fall. Besides other names, that can come across even today in the "social democrat" parties, Iliescu identifies himself with the power following the elections from the 20th May, when over 85% of the total population, uninformed by the mass-media controlled in big part by FSN, votes for this party.

In June 1990 over 10.000. miners, lead by Security men, repress, with mass bloodshed, the anti-communist protest from the University Square.

In 1992 Ion Iliescu and the NSF were re-elected.

In 1994 Romania was admitted into The Council of Europe.

In 1996 the Democratic Convention of Romania and Emil Constantinescu (DCR's candidate for presidency) won the elections. Victor Ciorbea became Prime Minister and was subsequently replaced by Radu Vasile after almost two years.

In 1999 the Democratic Convention of Romania appointed Mugur Isarescu (former Governor of the Romanian National Bank) Prime Minister. More details history of Romania

GOVERNMENT: Republic. President: Emil Constantinescu

TIME: GMT+2 (GMT+3 from the last Sunday in March to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October)

ELECTRICITY: 220 Volts, 50 Hz. Plugs are 2 pins type.

MEASURES & WEIGHTS: Metric system (since 1866)

COMMUNICATIONS:

  1. Telephone: country code "40"; outgoing international code "00"; IDD available; for international operator assistance dial "971"; public phones are widely spread and most of them work with phone cards.
  2. GSM- three GSM operators: Mobifon, Mobilrom, Romtelecom
  3. Internet: over 200 Internet Service Providers all over the territory of Romania
  4. Fax facilities are available in hotels & post offices
  5. Telegram: at Post Offices
  6. Post Offices are open daily, including Saturday mornings
  7. Press: A great number of daily and weekly newspapers published in Romanian, Hungarian, German languages.

HEALTH:
Health care is generally poor by European standards, and access is limited in many rural areas. In 2001 health expenditures were equal to 6.5 percent of gross domestic product. In 2005 there were 1.9 physicians and 7.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The most common causes of death are cardiovascular disease and cancer. Communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, syphilis, and viral hepatitis are more common than elsewhere in Europe. The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has been less than 0.1 percent. However, high rates of venereal disease, lack of education about HIV prevention, and increasing intravenous drug use are factors that could increase the rate substantially in the future. The number of pediatric AIDS cases is one of the highest in Europe because of unsafe blood transfusion and inoculation procedures for young children in hospitals and clinics in the last years of the communist era. In 2006 an estimated 7,200 Romanians below age 20 had been infected in this way. Tap water is normally chlorinated, safe, but may cause mild abdominal pains. Bottled water is available at any shop / kiosk. In the mountain areas tourists will find that the water supplied by the local springs is very safe and full of natural minerals. Milk is pasteurized and, like all diary products, safe for consumption. Nationals coming from a country that does not have a reciprocal health agreement with Romania are expected to immediately pay in cash for health services provided. Visit: Potential Health Checklist before, after and while traveling Romania

PUBLIC AND SCHOOL HOLLIDAYS
Public: 1 and 2 January, the Easter Monday, 1December (National Day), 25 and 26 December
School: summer holiday from June until the end of August and winter holiday 2 weeks starting before Christmas
Romania Traditions Customs Holidays National Day

SHOPING & BANKING HOURS:
Banks are open from 9 a.m. until 12, Monday to Friday, and shops from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, many shops and supermarkets will stay open until 8 p.m. or later. Duty free shops can be found at the International Airports.

CURRENCY:
"Leu"(plural "Lei")=100 Bani. Coins are in denominations of Lei 100 and 500 and banknotes are in denominations of Lei 1.000, 5.000, 10.000, 50.000 and 100.000

VISAS AND PASSPORTS
Passports: Valid Passport for a minimum of three months from the return from Romania.
Visas: required by all with few exceptions (e.g. US citizens for stays up to 3 months). Please contact the Romanian Consulate.

Recommended Link: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Romania.pdf