Romania. In April, Romania, together with Bulgaria,
received the EU Parliament's accession to the EU in 2007.
But before that, Romania must further reform the judiciary,
fight corruption, cut government subsidies and secure the
rights of the Romanian minority, otherwise the EU entry may
be delayed by one year.
At the end of the year, a currency reform was
implemented, when four zeros were removed from the currency
lei. The exchange rate against the euro was previously
36,000 lei, but after the reform it was 3.6 lei. Romania
hopes to introduce the euro by 2014.
countryaah, the spring flood hit southern Romania hard, and thousands
of people had to be evacuated from their homes as the Timiş
River flooded its banks. The devastation was the worst in 40
years. During the summer, Romania was haunted by repeated
storms and heavy rains with floods. The natural disasters
took a total of about 40 people's lives.
In July, Prime Minister Calin Popescu threatened
Tariceanu to resign, after the Constitutional Court stopped
a law that would allow the government to dismiss former
employees in the judiciary to be able to make new
appointments in order to fight corruption. According to the
EU, entry into the Union would be delayed one year if the
reform was not implemented.
In the devastation following the floods, however,
Tariceanu decided to stay at his post to lead the
reconstruction work. In August, he made extensive government
reform in an attempt to speed up reforms.
In October, bird flu was detected in some villages in the
Danube Delta. Tens of thousands of poultry were killed,
hunting and markets were banned and the population of the
area was vaccinated. Tests showed that it was a dangerous
virus form H5N1, which can spread to humans and which
previously required fatalities in Southeast Asia.
At the end of the year, there were reports that the
United States had detained suspected terrorists imprisoned
in Romania, which was denied by President Traian Băsescu.
When US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Romania
in December, an agreement was signed that gave the US
permission to establish military bases in the country. It
was the first similar agreement between Washington and a
former communist country in Eastern Europe.