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. Romania has considerable natural resources – oil, natural gas, coal, iron, copper and bauxite. Metal-working, petrochemicals and mechanical engineering are the main industries.
Romania, in southeast Europe, is mountainous in the north while the main feature in the south is the vast Danube valley. The river forms a delta as it approaches the Black Sea, which is a wildlife reserve for countless native and migratory birds.
In 1965, Nicolae Ceaușescu came to power and started applying an independent foreign policy by being the only Warsaw Pact country to condemn the Soviet-led 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, by maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War and by establishing diplomatic relations with West Germany the same year (after economic links have been established already in 1963).
At the same time, close ties with the Arab countries (and the PLO) allowed Romania to play a key role in the Israel–Egypt and Israel–PLO peace talks.
As Romania's foreign debt sharply increased between 1977 and 1981 (from US$3 to 10 billion), the influence of international financial organisations (such as the IMF and the World Bank) developed gradually conflicting with Nicolae Ceaușescu's autocratic rule. The latter eventually initiated a policy of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing austerity steps that impoverished the Romanians and exhausted the Romanian economy.
At the same time he also greatly extended the authority of the police state, and imposed a severe cult of personality. All these led to a dramatic decrease in Ceaușescu's popularity and culminated in his overthrow and eventual execution in the violent Romanian Revolution of 1989; but by that time Romania's foreign debt was almost completely paid off.
A 2006 Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania estimated the number of direct victims of the communist repression at two million people. This number does not include civilians who died in liberty as a result of their "treatment" and malnutrition in communist prisons, nor does it include those people who died because of the dire economic circumstances in which the country found itself. Those numbers remain unknown but could reach a few million.
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.
Romanian speciality dishes include grilled meatballs, meat wrapped in cabbage leaves, pork stew with garlic and onions and doughnuts made with cream and cheese.
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. Less notorious Romanians include the writer Eugene Ionesco, the gymnast Nadia Comăneci and the composer George Enescu.
This weather map is meant to give you an understanding of the difficult conditions under which many abandoned, homeless and neglected animals are forced to live in - many die of heat stroke, dehydration or freezing temperatures in Europe.