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introThe largest of the Balkan countries, Romania has dramatic mountain scenery and a coastline on the Black Sea.The Carpathian Mountains divide Romania's upper half from north to south and connect near the center of the country with the Transylvanian Alps, running east and west. North and west of these ranges lies the Transylvanian plateau, and to the south and east are the plains of Moldavia and Walachia. In its last 190 mi/306 km, the Danube River flows through Romania only. It enters the Black Sea in northern Dobruja, just south of the border with Ukraine. After World War II the country was under communist rule although the leadership pursued a foreign policy independent of that of the Soviet Union. Romania, took a major step away from its past when it was one of seven countries to join Nato in late March 2004. Its strategic location and Black Sea air and naval bases make it attractive to the alliance. Romania signed the EU accession treaty in 2005, paving the way for Romania eventually to join the union in January 2007. 

The Romanian parliament consists of two chambers, the Senat (Senate) and the Camera Deputaţilor (Chamber of Deputies). The members of both are chosen in elections held every four years. A country is only as good as its people, and you'll find Romanians in every region to be open, friendly, proud of their history and eager to share it with visitors. While tourism is growing, Romania is still considered something of an off-the-beaten-track destination for foreigners, and you'll get kudos from the locals just for showing up. While Romanians themselves decry what they see as the brashness, even rudeness, of their countrymen in Bucharest, even there you'll discover plenty of friendly faces and impromptu drinking buddies if you make the effort. Ethnically, the population is 90% Romanian and 7% Hungarian.

The Romanian language, like a number of others in southern Europe, is directly descended from Latin, although Romania is separated from other Romance-language countries by Slav speakers. Romanian history is filled with tales of heroic princes battling fierce Ottoman warriors. That's all true, but it partly obscures the reality that much of Romania, for centuries, was a productive peasant culture. The hilly geography and lack of passable roads necessitated the emergence of literally hundreds of self-sufficient villages, where old-school crafts such as bread making, pottery, tanning and weaving were honed to an art. These days much of the country has moved on to more modern methods, but a fondness for that 'simpler' way of life persists. Folk museums, particularly open-air skansens, are a must. In smaller villages, many old folkways are still practised.The most readily recognizable examples of Romanian art are the famed painted eggs, especially prominent around Easter time.  Painting of real hollowed-out eggs was an integral part of preparations for this festival of renewal. Women and children gathered in someone’s home and spent a day painting and gossiping. Intricate patterns were actually secret languages known only to residents of the regions where they were painted. The oldest known were painted with aqua fortis (nitric acid) on a traditional red background. They’re available in nearly all shops and street markets. Few peoples cherish their old-world folk tales as do Romanians, with a colourful panoply of witches, giants, ghosts, heroes, fairies and Nosferatu to keep them awake at night. Given that much of Romania is rural and remote it's not surprising that some of these superstitions and tales survive to this day. As much as 20% of people in Maramureş still believe in witchcraft. Romania is also known for...the spine-chilling tale of Dracula was inspired by the 15 th century Romanian Count Vlad Dracul whose son was famous in wartime for impaling captured enemies.

Quick summary
  • Business hub for all of South Eastern Europe;
  • Second largest market in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • Third largest FDI recipient in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • Biggest GDP in South Eastern Europe;
  • Top destination for relocation and outsourcing, with many certified specialists in niche sectors Romania fosters top international players in IT, technology, automotive, oil and gas sectors ;
  • More than 50 industrial parks across the country - both greenfield and brownfield investment opportunities;
  • At the crossroads of three major markets: the EU, CIS and Middle East.
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