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always surprizing
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ROMANIA

Photo Gallery | History | Statistics | Economy | Military | Culture | Maps | Tourism | Back to Index
Country Data
Population 19 million (ranked 59th)
Surface 238,391 square km (83rd country in the world)
Surface characteristics 34% mountains, 33% highlands, 33% lowlands
Population growth rate -0.12 % /year
Telecommunications fastest Internet in Europe, high quality digital phone lines, most advanced telecom projects in Europe
Mobile phones (2007) 19.5 million or 0.9/person (2007), ranked 1st in EU
Infrastructure 11,380 km of railway | 500 km mini-railways
103,000 km paved roads | 350 km highways
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"Fagarasul meu (My Fagaras)"
Photo by Alex Gavan

Economy overview

The economy has been on ascendent slope for 8 years now. The usual increase rate stands at around 6% per year, although a staggering 8.5% was achieved in 2004.

Unemployment, already one of the lowest in Europe, continues to decrease, while tax collection seems to have improved constantly over the years. From a state budget of barely 5 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) in 2003 to one of 38.1 billion euros (52 billion dollars) in 2007, we can witness an increase of almost 10-fold in only 4 years.

Foreign direct investment, a major disappointment in the 1990's, has also seen significant growths within the last years. From little over 2 billion dollars a year last decade, FDI grew to 9 billion euros (12 billion dollars) in 2006 and is expected to surpass 12 billion euros (15 billion dollars) a year by 2010.

Inflation was rampant during the nineties, reaching a peak of 295% in 1993. Romania continued to have double-digit inflation until 2004, when the single-digit figure of 9 percent was achieved. In 2007, inflation was situated around 6 percent.

Wages however remain low, around the figure of 500 dollars a month. An increase to a 4-digit figure will probably be possible by 2012.

Analysts say Romania and Bulgaria will probably adopt the euro sometime between 2012-2014, ahead of neighboring Serbia, Hungary, Moldova and the Ukraine.

Economy
Foreign direct investment (2006) 12 billion $ Unemployment 3.9 percent (down from 5.5% in 2005)
Foreign Debt (2005) 13.3 percent of GDP (24.5 billion $) Inflation rate (2007) 6 percent (down from 8.6% in 2005)
Gross Domestic Product (2007) 155 billion $ (36th) Purchasing Power Parity 213 billion $ (42nd)
Economic growth rate 7% per year Income per capita 11,400 $ (64th)
Minimum wage (2012) 210 $ / month
($420 for college graduates)
Average wage 585 $ / month
Commercial deficit (2003) 4.93 billion $ Commercial deficit (2004) 5.05 billion $
State Budget 2003 6.5 billion $ State budget 2007 38.1 billion euro
Economy output 45 % services 29.5 % industry 11.7 % agriculture
State Budget
Social Protection 8.8 % Health 7.5 %
Education 6 % Defense 2.05 %
Agriculture 2.7 % Culture 0.6 %


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Military
Volunteer military service, 5 years contract plus additional 3 year contracts. Minimum age to join: 18.

Romanian Armed Forces
  1989 2007
Personnel 340,000 men 75,000 men
Budget 1.25 billion $ 2.95 billion $
Jet Fighters 500 75
Tanks 3,500 480
Armour 5,000 1,250
Helicopters 300 75
Budget / Man 3,444 USD 39,000 USD
Deployments Abroad
Iraq 900 men
Afghanistan 550 men
Balkans 550 men
Africa 150 men
Total > 2,000 men
Major Branches
Ground Forces
Air and Air Defence
Navy and Marines
Civil Protection
Special Operations
Romanian Special Forces Website

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Romania Gallery

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History

Romania has a very long and proud history. Being one of the oldest nations in Europe, Romania today is a fraction of the ancient state of Dacia. The ancestors of what are now Romanians, were the dacs. The dacs were known for their beautiful and very wealthy teritorry, their cultural and traditional manufacturing skills, as well as for their ferocity in combat. Living in a very large and extremely rich teritorry, with dozens of big rivers, with several mountain ranges, forests, as well as access to the Black Sea, Dacia as a state was always on a constant threat of being attacked by the nomadic barbarians that have always roamed around it.

Dacia covered half of the continent of Europe, spanning from the Tatra mountains in the NW, to the Eastern Pannonic fields in the W, to the Stara Planina mountains in the South and the Dniester (Nistru) river in the E and NE. As such, Dacia was a state which incorporated the teritorries that are now the countries of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, half of Bulgaria, Moldova and a part of the Ukraine.

Foreign historians have recently discovered documents that stated the fact that Dacia, during the time of Burebista (200 BC) had also conquered the slavic tribes from the region which is currently occupied by Poland, thus having a border at the Baltic Sea. Also, in 1,000 BC, Dacia had a border with Germany, as the teritorry which is currently occupied by Austria (Goths - nomadic barbarians which established the state of Austria there about 1,500 - 2,000 years later) was incorporated into Dacia.

Being the largest state-nation in Europe, as well as being by far the richest country in the world, Dacia was always attacked throughout its history by the Empires of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This "tradition" was continued until modern day, when Romania, the nation that emerged from the mixture of Dacia and the Roman Empire, had always been under attack and lost most of its teritorry to the neighboring countries.

Although Dacia and Germany were only a step away of conquering the Roman Empire, and although Dacia remained the only country in Europe that could not be fully conquered by the Romans, all those days of glories have been carefully set aside by modern-day historians.

Unfortunately, Dacia is only remembered in the minds of foreigners as being a teritorry that the Roman Empire conquered. In reality, after hundreds of years of conflict, after all the surrounding teritorries have already been conquered by the Romans, Dacia remained the only nation in Europe to avoid being incorporated into the Empire. Greece, another ancient state, was conquered 400 years before Dacia.

The wars of 101, 102 and 105 AD happened when the Romans, which vastly outnumbered the Dacs, attacked Dacia from the W and S and were severely defeated. In was only in the 4th war, of 106 AD, that the Roman Empire, with soldiers that outnumbered the Dacs 10 to 1, finally conquered only a small part of Dacia.
After these wars, in the 2,000 years that followed, Dacia, then re-named Romania, lost more than 60 percent of its teritorry and was downsized from the largest state-nation in Europe to what is now only the 10th country of Europe (10th out of 45 countries, considering teritorry and population).

dacia

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Culture

Romania has a vast cultural enherritage. Tens of thousands of traditions, most of them more than 2,000 years old, tens of thousands of songs, over a thousand different traditional foods and hundreds of regional folcloric dressing styles are only the tip of the iceberg.

Romania was one of the first countries in Europe to convert to Christianity as a nation. In fact, when the Dacs and the Romans mixed to form the Romanian people, the new nation was born Christian, meaning that the relligion was already existing and being wide spread in the region. That happened around the year 500 AD.

Traditional proverbs and sayings that are thousands of years old come in a high number in the culture of Romania. In fact, certain poems actually describe the Genesis, as well as the famos biblical Flood, the formation of continents and other ancient events.

When you visit Romania, you can't afford to miss visiting the old monasteries in Northern Moldova. Sucevita, Moldovita, Putna and all the others are more than 600 years old, and they are the only monasteries in the world to have relligious scenes painted on the outside walls. Furthermore, the blue coloured paint is the original one, and this is the only known case to science when paint lasted for six centuries of bitter cold, hot summers and torrential rains!

Poets, writers, musicians and inventors come to widen the range of the cultural enherritage of Romania. Mihai Eminescu, a poet described by foreign specialists as "a genius of mankind" is only one of the many world-class poets in the Romanian history. Also, George Enescu's classical music rises at the same level as the one of Mozart's or Verdi's, while the writings of Ion Creanga have also been described by foreigners as "brilliant", "genius work" and "fantastic".

Inventivity is also a trademark of the Romanian people, the nation having a long line of inventors in a large variety of areas and scienses.

In April 1903, a Romanian engineer called Traian Vuia, had patented the aeroplane. He was not only the inventor of this seemingly impossible machine at that time, but also the first man who took off with an aeroplane by its own power, in 1906. The Wright Brothers' flight was assisted by a catapault, being what is today described as an "aided flight". Several international pioneers have experienced aided flights, some of them before the Wright Brothers. The first take off with a vehicle heavier than air by its own means took place in Montesson, France, on 18 April 1906. Its pilot and builder was none other than Traian Vuia.

In 1910, Henri Coanda built the world's first jet engine, and also made the first flight with an aeroplane that used a jet engine. It took the world no less than four decades and two world wars to accept his design. Henri Coanda remained unrecognized by the international community until the beginning of the 21st century, his invention being marginalized in favor of a British pioneer named Frank Whittle, which at the time was credited with "inventing" the jet engine in the 1930's. Around the year 2000 the international community began to recognize the fact that Henri Coanda had invented the jet engine and also flew a jet aeroplane over two decades before Whittle patented his design. The recognition however does not come as a moral repair of willingly supressed historical fact, but merely as an attempt by European space giant EADS and its company Airbus to make a long list of European aviation inventions and performances, in order to build a powerful image to compete with its main rival, the US based McDonnel-Douglas.

Henri Coanda also invented, built and flew a UFO-like aircraft called the lenticular aerodyne; in total he had over 250 patented inventions during his lifetime.

In 1827, Petrache Poenaru patented the fountain pen.

In 1921, Nicolae Paulescu discovered the insuline, only for it to be patented by two American students which copied his published work. Unfortunately they also received the Nobel Prize for their "discovery", in 1923.

Victor Babes is considered to be a pioneer of microbiology, and was a promoter of antibiotics before they became widely known and accepted worldwide.
In the 20th century, Ana Aslan patented a medical product called Gerovital, meant to strengthten the human body's general health condition. Her product is such a good body refresher, especially for aging individuals, that it became famous worldwide. The license was exported to more than 30 countries, and is considered a wonder-drug even today. She treated famous people, including Mao Tse-Dun, Charles de Gaulle, Pablo Picasso, Sir Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, Konrad Adenauer, Aristotel Onasis, John F. Kennedy and others. Ana Aslan died in 1988 at the age of 101.

This list could go on and on, as in present day, at the time when this article was written, Romania had presented the highest number of inventions to the European Invention Festival in 2003, a staggering 63 inventions. Furthermore, all of them won a prize!!

In terms of music and dance, the sounds made by the ancient Dacs with their traditional instruments fond in a special way with the hearts and minds of the listener. The dancing and clothing style is rich in color and complex shapes, and has been copied by all of Romania's neighbors after their arrival to Europe roughly 1,000 years ago. Therefore, similarities between Romanian and especially Serbian, but also Bulgarian, Hungarian and Ukrainian folk music, dancing and clothing exist, however the original versions still exist in today's Romania.

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Maps

Romania county map
romania counties
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Here are some maps of Romania

In the left you can see the county map of Romania. Romania is divided into 40 counties plus Metro Bucharest (capitol city+surroundings).

And in the right you can see Romania and its neighbors in Europe.
Romania in Europe
romania in europe
ro2.gif, 596x410, 26 kb

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Discover more about Romania

Tourism statistics
Tourists in 2005 5.5 million
Tourism income 1.5 billion $
Tourism growth rate 12 % per year
Tourism per GDP 1.5 %
Tourism assets mountains, sea, rivers, delta, culture, history, agro-tourism
Unexploited assets
Pretty much all the tourism assets are more or less unexploited
Causes of low figures
Mainly poor quality services offered by local hotels, which determines tour-operators from both Romania and abroad to cancel current orders and have no plans for future ones.
Regional Comparison
Tourists and income from tourism
Romania 5.5 million/$1.5 billion
Bulgaria 4.5 million/$2.5 billion
Hungary 12 million/$4 billion
Croatia ? million/$4 billion
Moldova ?
Ukraine ?
Web Address Contains
www.rotravel.com Travel to Romania !
www.alpinet.org Romanian Mountains galleries
www.outdoorholiday.com Europe's best kept secrets. Offering idyllically unspoiled alpine meadows, forests, lakes, rivers and secluded valleys, challenging mountain peaks. Guided trekking tours in Romanian Mountains.
http://www.manastiri-bucovina.go.ro/bukovina.htm 600 yrs old Romanian Monasteries which still have their original paint
http://www.adventuretransylvania.com Wouldn't you like to explore Romania's beautiful scenery, rich history, unique culture and mystery (Dracula, Ceausescu, Manole, etc.)? Within 3 hours of flight from whatever corner of Europe, you can reach an unexplored touristic region!
www.romaniatourism.com Yet another Romanian tourism web site, from which you can find pictures, data, links, as well as make airline, hotel and tour reservations
www.turism.ro And another website about Romanian Tourism
www.speologie.ro/index_en.php A large number of caves, most of them still unvisited, some of the longest and deepest in Europe as well, can be found in Romania, so check out this specialized site and visit them too
http://www.roving-romania.co.uk exploring Romania off-the-beaten-track
www.mountainguide.ro Another website which will introduce you to the wonders of the beautiful Carpathians
www.dacii.ro The Dacs - Ancient ancestors of current-day Romanians

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