Romania lies in Eastern Europe on the Black Sea.  Bordering countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria.

 

 

Land: 237,500 km2

 

Population: 21.7 million inhabitants

 

Capital city: Bucharest, rests at the south of the country and has 2 million inhabitants. It is not only the administrative but also the commercial, industrial and cultural centre of the country. Up to the 18th century, it was the seat of the Wallachian princes and in 1715 it became the capital city of Wallachia, while in 1862 it became the capital of the united principalities of Moldova and Wallachia. Despite the fact that some of the historical neighbourhoods were destroyed in 1988, the city has preserved many architectural jewels. It is considered as the green capital of Europe, as it has many parks and holds the record for the highest garden-inhabitant ratio.

 

Main cities

Iasi, it rests near the border with Moldova and has 348,000 inhabitants. It used to be the seat of the Moldovan princes during the 16th century and became their capital city during the 17th century. The city is rich in architectural monuments, mostly churches built in the Byzantine style.  It had been an important commercial and cultural centre of the Greek Diaspora from the 17th to the 19th centuries. According to scholars, modern-Greek enlightenment started at the Greek printing presses of Iasi. Today, it is an industrial centre, specialising in medicine, textiles and agricultural products processing.

 

Cluj-Napoca, historical capital city of Transylvania, with 333,000 inhabitants. It is a cultural centre with impressive gothic and baroque monuments. It also has many museums (arts, history and folk), while it is also a university and industrial centre.

 

Constantia, the main port of the country rests on the Black Sea and has 340 000 inhabitants. It is a renown transportation junction and hosts an important museum with findings from the Hellenistic, roman and early Christian eras. Also, it houses metallurgic and ship-building industries.

 

Timisoara, lies in the Banat province and has 328,000 inhabitants. There is notable cultural and industrial activity.

 

Galati, is home to a trans-danubic port at the eastern part of the country, with 328,000 inhabitants. It is and international rail junction and has an important industry specialising in metal processing and ship-building.

 

Brief history: The region was occupied by the Romans, who managed to Latinise the local population. During the following centuries, the region of Romania was occupied by various barbarian tribes. In the 13th to 14th centuries, three states appeared: Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova. In 1538, Transylvania fell to the Hungarians and later on to the Habsburg Empire, while in the beginning of the 18th century, Wallachia and Moldova became autonomous hegemonies under ottoman protection. Until 1821, the Ottoman Empire set Phanariots and later locals as princes. This resulted to a national movement, which end with the unification of the two principalities in 1858 and the acceptance of Romanian independence in 1879. After the First World War, Romania annexed    Dobroutsa and Bessarabia, an area that it lost to the Soviets after the Second World War. In April 1948, a communist state came into being which collapsed after the 1989 revolution. The first democratic elections took place in 1990 and a year later a new Constitution was voted. In March 2004, Romania became member of NATO.

 

Political system : Presidential Parliamentary Republic with two legislative branches, the Senate and the Parliament

President Traian BASESCU (20.12.04)

Current administration (elections: 28.12.2004  reshuffle: 22.08.2005)

Prime MinisterCalin POPESCU-TARICEANU

 

Ministers

of Foreign Affairs, Mihai RAZVAN UNGUREANU
of European Integration,
Mrs. Anca Daniela BOAGIU (22.08.05)
of
Public Finance,
 Sebastian VLADESCU (22.08.05)
of National Defence,
Teodor ATHANASIU
of Economy & Commerce,
Codrut SERES


 

Economy:  After three years of recession (1997-99), the economy recovered in 2000 with rising growth rates, which were achieved through exports and investments. In 2004 the rate of growth reached 8.1%, while in 2005 it slightly slowed down but remained steady, in an increasing internal demand environment. The country has important capital influx and a strong rise of the Lei, which reduced the external debt. This sustained growth is supported by the gradual de-inflation (since 2001) and which takes into account the real price increase (especially in the energy sector). For the years 2005-2006, the planned privatisations (energy, banks) will allow for the payment of a part of the current deficit. Within this framework, inflation, although diminishing, may remain high, due to incomplete restructuring of the economy.

 

 

Currency: New Lei  (1= 4.500 RON)

GDP: $62.92 billion

Per capita income: $2,900

Inflation: 11.9 %

Growth rate: 8.1%

Unemployment: 6.5%

 

National Holiday : Unification Day, December 1st (1918)

 

Romania-EU relations

On April 25th,2005 Romania signed the Treaty for the accession to the EU. The final accession is expected to take place in 1.01.2007.

 

Visa passport: For a stay up to 90 days, no visa is required.

 

Language: Romanian

 

Religion: Orthodox Christian 87%, other denominations ~10 %

 

TRANSPORTATION
 

By road: If you wish to drive in Romania, you have to buy a special sticker (which you can obtain at a border post, a post office or a fuel service station) and which costs $3-5 for validity of up to 7 days or $ 6-8  for validity of up to 30 days. It is necessary to carry the car authorisation papers and its insurance.

By air: There are frequent flights from Greece to Bucharest airport.

By train: There is a direct route Salonica-Bucharest-Salonica daily and the trip lasts about 18.5 hours.

 

HEALTH CARE: Relatively good.

 

Ambulance phone number: 961 / 962

 

Time difference with Greece: 0 hours

 

USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS

First Aids: 961 629.95.60

Police: 955

Fire brigade: 981

Airport: (021) 230 00 22, 42 204 10 00

Greek Embassy in Bucharest: (021) 2094170-4

Greek General Consulate in Bucharest:
(021) 2094190-2

Greek General Consulate in Constantia:
(0241) 673630, 2

International dialling code: 0040