Romania

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Romania is a country located at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe, bordering on the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south. At 238,400 square kilometers (92,000 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with over 19 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the tenth largest city in the EU.

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File:EU-Romania.svg

The United Principalities emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza in 1859. In 1881, Carol I of Romania was crowned, forming the Kingdom of Romania. Independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on 9 May 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania (1st of December 1918). Greater Romania emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until the eve of World War II. That war caused the rise of a military dictatorship in Romania, leading it to fight on the side of the Axis powers from 1941 to 1944. It then switched sides in 1944 and joined the Allies. By the end of the war, many north-eastern areas of Romania's territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, and Romania forcibly became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began its transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems and living standards decline, extensive reforms fostered economic recovery. As of 2010, Romania is an upper middle-income country with high human development.
Romania joined NATO on 29 March 2004, the European Union on 1 January 2007 and is also a member of the Latin Union; the Francophonie; the OSCE; the WTO; the BSEC; and the United Nations. Today, Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic, in which the executive branch consists of the President and the Government.



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People's House in Bucharest - House of Parliament

Romania has a climate that is transitional between temperate and continental, with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) in the south and 8 °C (46 °F) in the north.


Oină is a traditional Romanian sporting game continuously practiced at least since the 14th century.
European football is the most popular sport in Romania. The most famous football club is Steaua București, and another successful Romanian team is Dinamo București.
Tennis is the second most popular sport in terms of registered sportsmen.
Popular team sports are rugby union (national rugby team has so far competed at every Rugby World Cup), basketball and handball. The Romania national handball team is a four-time world champion team, with Sweden and France (record holder), while Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea is a top team in women's handball.
Romanian gymnastics has had a large number of successes – for which the country became known worldwide.