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Yearbook 2007

Romania. "Welcome to Europe!" Romanian President Traian Băsescu greeted thousands of cheering Bucharest residents as the country entered the EU at the New Year seventeen years after the fall of the Communist dictatorship. But the cheer soon fell silent when the President accused Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu of trying to hide economic crime. According to CountryAAH, the prime minister denied and backed off by accusing the president of undermining the government and himself being the center of shady business. The Prosecutor General was linked and the coalition government was shaken by the conflict between the Democratic Party which supported the President and the National Liberal Party which supported the Prime Minister. The Social Democrats in opposition, who were the country's largest party, demanded that President Băsescu be brought before national law and that Tariceanu resign. But among the population, Băsescu was popular among others. for his sharp statements against the corruption among the country's politicians. According to the German-based think tank Transparency International, the new EU member Romania was the Union's most corrupt country.

2007 Romania

In February, Foreign Minister Răzvan Ungureanu was forced to leave the government. He was the president's man. When Prime Minister Tariceanu nominated a new foreign minister, the president opposed him, creating a deadlock in which the new EU country was held without a foreign minister for a long period.

In April, Parliament decided to suspend President Băsescu from office until further notice. He was charged with abuse of power and bribery, which could lead to national law. The question of national law was decided in a referendum in May, when Băsescu was supported by three-quarters of the voters. In doing so, he escaped national law and was able to re-enter his office.

In a June report, Romania was criticized by the European Commission in order not to fight corruption vigorously enough. The Commission called for an action plan to continue.

Romania was hit hard by the extreme weather in Europe this summer. The heat in June took over 30 lives, and in Bucharest a record temperature of 45 degrees was measured. In August, a new heat wave came, demanding at least 18 casualties in the country. In September, heavy rainfall followed, as several people perished in floods and many had to leave their homes.

The political stalemate continued and in October the opposition aroused distrust of the government in Parliament. The government won the vote, but its minority position made it paralyzed when it came to important reforms.

A foreign policy crisis erupted in the fall when Italy decided to expel a large number of Romanians after notable crimes that Romanians suspected were behind. Half a million Romanians were estimated to be in Italy, many of whom had come after Romania's EU entry and lived in great poverty.

In November, Romania held its first election to the European Parliament and appointed the country's 35 members there. However, the election was mostly seen as a domestic political struggle, and the result showed strong dissatisfaction with the government. The winner of the election became the Democratic Party, which supported President Băsescu and had been ousted by the government earlier this year. The party got about a third of the vote, while the Socialist Democratic Party communists got about 20 percent. Prime Minister Tariceanu's National Liberal Party stopped about 15 percent.

With Romania's EU membership, visa restrictions were imposed on Moldavians, which led to the Romanian mission in neighboring Moldova being flooded with visa applications. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Moldavians applied for Romanian citizenship in connection with Romania's EU entry. Romania wanted to open two new consulates in Moldova, but the government there said no and relations between neighboring countries deteriorated.

At the end of the year, Moldova accused Romania of "aggression" and expelled a couple of Romanian diplomats.

Romanian Foreign Minister Tudor Chiuariu resigned in December after being subjected to investigation into suspected corruption.

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