Romanians deposed dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu in December 1989 and began the long road to democracy and a free-market economy.

The government was dominated by communists until 1996 when they were voted out of office. The country joined the EU in 2007 and has showed strong economic growth in 2005-6.

Once known as the “Breadbasket of the Roman Empire,” Romania is one of the most beautiful countries in SE Europe. Yet many the elderly poor of rural Romania remain mired in poverty. For more information on the country, see