Fast facts about Romania
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|Currency:||Romanian Leu (RON)|
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Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a communist Peoples Republic in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of President Nicolae CEAUSESCU became increasingly draconian through the 1980s. He was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Much economic restructuring remains to be carried out before Romania can achieve its hope of joining the EU.
Known for depressing orphanages, Dracula, cyanide pollution and world class football, Romania is home to 22 million people, of Romanian, Hungarian, Gypsy and German ethnic origin. The population is declining due to high abortion rates and emigration. 85% of Romanians are baptized into the influential Orthodox Church. Economic woes persist.