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February 2000

Romania 1999

Romania 1999

Romania is located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine. Romania covers 91,699 square miles and occupies the greater part of the lower basin of the Danube River system and the hilly eastern regions of the middle Danube basin.

From about 200 B.C., when it was settled by the Dacians, a Thracian tribe, Romania has been on the path of a series of migrations and conquests. Under the emperor Trajan, early in the second century A.D., Dacia was incorporated into the Roman empire, but was abandoned by a declining Rome less than two centuries later. Romania disappeared from recorded history for hundreds of years, to reemerge in the medieval period as the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Heavily taxed and badly administered under the Ottoman empire, the two Principalities were unified under a single native prince in 1859, and had their full independence ratified in the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. A German prince, Carol of Hohenzollern, was crowned first King of Romania in 1881.

Romania's 1991 constitution proclaims Romania a democracy with a market economy, in which human dignity, civil rights and freedoms, the unhindered development of human personality, justice and political pluralism are supreme and guaranteed values. The constitution directs the state to implement free trade, protect the principle of competition, and provide a favorable framework for production. The constitution provides for a president, a Parliament, a Constitutional Court and a separate system of lower courts that includes a Supreme Court.

Romania is a country of considerable potential: rich agricultural lands; diverse energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, and, soon, nuclear); a substantial, if aging, industrial base encompassing almost the full range of manufacturing activities; an intelligent, well-trained work force; and opportunities for expanded development in tourism on the Black Sea and in the mountains.

he World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, United States Department of State Background Notes, 06/1997