Tourism and Foreign Trade


Romania`s tourism industry has expanded

Romania`s tourism industry has expanded significantly since the end of the Communist period, although there is considerable room for further growth. Popular attractions include skiing and hiking in the Carpathian Mountains; the Danube delta region, which draws fishing enthusiasts and birdwatchers from around the world; the medieval castles of Transylvania and the painted monasteries of Bukovina; and the seaside resorts and beaches of the Black Sea.

During the early part of the Communist

During the early part of the Communist period, Romania`s foreign trade was conducted almost exclusively with the Soviet Union and other Communist countries. However, in the 1960s trade restrictions were eased somewhat and Romania began expanding its contacts with Western nations. Integration into the EU has led to increased trade with western Europe. Principal Romanian exports include metals and metal products, minerals and fuels, textiles and footwear, chemicals, and electrical machines and equipment. Imports include minerals, machinery and equipment, textiles, and agriculture goods.

Currency and Banking


The basic monetary unit of Romania is the

The basic monetary unit of Romania is the "leu" (plural, "lei"), divided into 100 "bani." The leu was devalued in October 1990, but since 1991 its value has been determined by the open market. The National Bank of Romania (founded in 1880) is the country`s bank of issue; it is also responsible for managing monetary policy and supervising the financial activities of all state enterprises. A number of private banks have opened since 1990, and a Romanian stock exchange opened in Bucharest in June 1995.

Transportation


Romania`s railroad system is owned by


Romania`s railroad system is owned by the government. Buses and trolleys provide a popular means of transportation within cities, and Bucharest has a subway system with several major lines.

Romania`s principal seaports are Constana

Romania`s principal seaports are Constana, on the Black Sea, and Galai and Brila, neighboring cities on the lower Danube; Giurgiu, which has pipeline connections to the oil fields of Ploieti, is an important river port. A canal that opened in 1984 links Constana with Cernavod, a Danube River port. Another canal, completed in 1992, connects the Main and Danube rivers and allows transport from the Black Sea to the North Sea via the Rhine River.

Government of Romania


From 1948 to 1989 the Romanian Communist

From 1948 to 1989 the Romanian Communist Party controlled all levels of government in Romania, and the head of the Communist Party was the country`s most powerful leader. In 1989 the Romanian army joined in a popular uprising against the Communist regime. President Nicolae Ceauescu was deposed and executed, and a provisional government was established. In May 1990 multiparty elections were held to elect a president and national legislature.

Romanian voters approved a new constitution

Romanian voters approved a new constitution by popular referendum in December 1991. The constitution declares Romania to be a parliamentary republic and provides for competing political parties, a separation of powers between branches of government, a market economy, and respect for human rights. Voters amended the constitution in October 2003, changing many articles of the original document. Among the most important changes were provisions protecting private property, permitting Romanian minorities to use their native languages in courts and in other official settings, and extending the term of Romania`s presidency from four to five years.

Executive


The president of Romania is elected by

The president of Romania is elected by direct, popular vote for a maximum of two five-year terms. The president is head of state, representing the country in matters of foreign affairs, and serves as the commander in chief of the armed forces.

The president appoints a prime minister

The president appoints a prime minister to head the government. The prime minister is generally the leader of the party or coalition of parties with the majority of seats in parliament. The prime minister is responsible for selecting a cabinet to help carry out the operations of government.

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