Romania Culture

Romania Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Romania

According to EHEALTHFACTS.ORG, Romania is a country located in Europe. Freedom of the press was guaranteed in the 1991 constitution. In Bucharest, about 15 daily newspapers are published (circulation of about 1 million copies). The three largest are Evenimentul Zilei (founded 1991, 200,000 ex.), România Liberă (1946, 100,000 ex.) And Adevărul (1990, 85,000 ex.), All independent. At 50,000 ex. is the sports magazine Gazeta Sporturilor.

A new radio and TV law was adopted in 1992 on, among other things. privatization of one of two state-wide TV channels. There are about 20 private local TV stations. The state is responsible for the national radio, but there are about 100 private local radio stations. State radio and TV are financed to 80% with licensed funds. There are 334 radio and 381 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to APARENTINGBLOG, the Romanian language, which originates from Latin, is at the heart of Romanian culture. The portal figure in literature is the 19th century author Mihai Eminescu. The satire has an important place; The playwright Eugen Ionescu (French spelling Eugène Ionesco) was, with his surrealism, typically Romanian, although he, like many other known Romanians, appeared in exile in France.

Other Romanian writers who became known abroad during the 20th century are Zaharia Stancu, Tristan Tzara, Tudor Arghezi, poet Nichita Stanescu and Herta Müller, who after more than 20 years in German exile received the Nobel Prize in literature in 2009. In recent years, Mircea Cărtărescu has been noted, mainly for the romantic trilogy Orbitor.

Romania’s most renowned sculptor, Constantin Brăncuşi, worked in Paris from 1903 to 1957 and is represented with his creation The Newborn (“The Egg”) at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.

The country has a rich heritage of folk music. A number of Romanian composers have been inspired by folk music in both operas and symphonies as well as chamber music. The famous musician Gheorghe Zamfir has made the pan flute widely known. During the interwar period, composer Georghe Enescu achieved international reputation. Enescu was also a teacher of renowned pianist Dinu Lipatti. Most famous among Romanian conductors is Sergiu Celibidache, who in the 1960s worked for Sweden’s radio symphony orchestra.

In recent years, the Romanian film has begun to attract attention, and directors Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu have won awards at the Cannes Film Festival in the 2000s. The “new Romanian wave” has been characterized by an everyday realistic style and often satirical settlements with both the Ceauşescu dictatorship (see Modern history) and flaws in the post-communist society.

Mass Media

Although the law guarantees freedom of the press and opinion, problems sometimes arise for mass media who want to report freely and critically. Political and economic pressures from local politicians and businessmen, as well as pure threats, exist, especially against regional media that have written about corruption and other abuses of power.

Freedom of the press has primarily been limited by the provisions of the Criminal Code which could result in imprisonment or high fines for insult, slander and news that could damage the country’s honor and interests. After several legal trips during the 2000s, the Supreme Court (HD) in 2010 ruled that slander in the media is not punishable. In 2013, however, the Constitutional Court said that the HD decision violated the Constitution. As a result, there was uncertainty among the country’s media workers about what they could write and say.

There have been tendencies for government agencies to try to stifle media scrutiny of their activities. The Supreme National Defense Council, an authority composed of the country’s leading politicians and military, in 2010 cited critical scrutiny of journalism as a threat to the country’s security. During a power struggle between the government and the president in 2012, the government accused a number of named journalists of damaging the country’s international reputation by reporting on the government’s attempts to manipulate the constitution in order to oust the president.

In the country there are 60-day newspapers and considerably more magazines. Since the turn of the millennium, ownership of both press and ethereal media has become increasingly concentrated to a few large media groups, including those who are active in politics. The regional press is important. In all provincial cities, one or more newspapers are published, while many have their editorial office in Bucharest. A number of newspapers and magazines are printed in a minority language. A couple of leading media groups are Swiss Ringier and Romanian Intact.

Of the leading nationwide newspapers published in Bucharest, and which often contain both more or less serious information, Libertatea is the largest. Among the closest competitors are Jurnalul National, Evenimentul Zilei, Adevarul (former Communist Party body Scinteia), Cronica Română and România Liberă. Two major sports magazines are ProSport and Gazeta Sporturilor. Ziarul Financiar is a leading daily business newspaper while Capital is published once a week and contains financial material. The newspaper Nine O’Clock is English-speaking.

In the 2010s, most magazines’ editions have dropped significantly and advertising revenue has plummeted. As a result, many local newspapers, in particular, have been closed down and thousands of journalists have lost their jobs.

State television broadcasts nationally, internationally and regionally and is financed through licenses, directly from the state budget and with advertising. Among the 15 nationally owned privately owned TV stations, ProTV and Antena have the largest number of viewers. In addition, there are a large number of local TV channels as well as satellite channels and a well-developed network for cable TV. The state radio has nationwide, regional and local channels. In addition, there are more than 100 privately owned, local radio stations.

More than half of the residents used the Internet in the mid-2010s, most of whom connected via mobile phone.


Percentage of the population using the internet

71 percent (2018)

Number of mobile subscriptions per 100 residents

116 (2018)



The Ponta government remains in power after elections

December 9

The ruling party alliance Social Liberal Union (USL) wins the parliamentary election with 59 percent of the vote against 17 percent for the conservative alliance ARD and 14 percent for the populist party PP-DD. However, turnout is low, just under 42 percent. After much hesitation, President Băsescu commands his arch-rival Prime Minister Ponta to re-form government.


Băsescu and Ponta in meeting on IMF loans

President Băsescu and Prime Minister Ponta meet for the first time after a power struggle between them. At the meeting, the two leaders agreed that Romania should apply for a new loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The EU freezes development aid

The EU is holding back development aid to Romania because of suspicions that money is not being used properly. In the first place, the disbursement of EUR 500 million will be stopped, which would replace Romania for earlier investments in improved transport and environmental projects. An investigation shows that since the EU accession in 2007, Romania has used only a tenth of the Union’s aid in a cost-effective and correct way. The investigators point to causes such as corruption, poor competence within institutions and authorities and lack of knowledge about how the EU system works.


The opposition forms electoral unions

The large neo-liberal opposition party PD-L, together with a few small parties, form the electoral union Romanian Right Alliance (ARD) to strengthen their chances in the parliamentary elections to be held on December 9 of the same year.

Băsescu is given the right to represent within the EU

The Constitutional Court notes that the president will represent Romania at the EU summits and that the country’s parliament is not entitled to make judgments on the issue, which underlies a serious power struggle between Prime Minister Ponta and President Băsescu.


Băsescu re-elected President

The Constitutional Court again states that the referendum to put President Băsescu before the national court was invalid because of too low turnout. Parliament accepts the court’s ruling and Băsescu re-enters the office of president.

Ministerial defection in the wake of a referendum

Interior Minister Ioan Rus resigns in protest against what he describes as unacceptable political pressure from both sides in the conflict over the validity of a referendum (see March 2012). The minister responsible for organizing the referendum also resigns.


Invalid referendum on national law against the president

Around 87 percent of participants in a referendum vote to put unpopular President Băsescu before national law, but the vote becomes invalid when voter turnout is too low. More than 46 percent of the eligible voters participated, while 50 percent was required for a valid referendum. Băsescu’s arch-rivals Prime Minister Ponta claim that voting lengths are outdated and that the number of eligible voters has decreased as the population shrinks. Ponta argues that the Constitutional Court should therefore declare the referendum valid.

The government is trying to oust the president

The government wants to try to oust President Băsescu through a judicial procedure. Băsescu is accused of exceeding his powers in connection with the severe cuts in the state budget in 2010. The president is also accused of violating the principle of separation of powers and interfering with the actions of the authorities. By decree, the government prevents the Constitutional Court from stopping a national court procedure. Parliament votes to put Băsescu before the national court, but the decision must be approved in a referendum. Băsescu is temporarily suspended from office and is temporarily replaced by Senate President Crin Antonescu. The EU, the Council of Europe and the US are expressing concern about democracy in Romania and the country’s leadership is urged to follow the constitution.

Oppositional presidents are replaced

The Ponta government replaces the opposition speakers in both parliament’s chambers as well as the country’s ombudsman, replacing all with government-loyal people. The opposition party PD-L talks about a “coup d’état”.


Ponta is accused of plagiarized dissertation

A group of academics accuse Ponta of plagiarizing much of her doctoral thesis in law. Ponta rejects the allegations as politically motivated and claims that President Băsescu is behind them. The Ministry of Education’s Ethical Council explains that Ponta has written her dissertation in accordance with academic standards. Ponte’s supervisor was now corruption convicted former Prime Minister Adrian Năstase.

A power struggle ensues between Ponta and Băsescu

There is a serious conflict between Prime Minister Ponta and Liberal President Băsescu. The contradiction applies to who has the right to represent Romania at the EU summits. The Constitutional Court states that it is the president’s job, a decision that Ponta ignores on the grounds that the court is biased in favor of Băsescu. Parliament considers itself entitled to settle the dispute and appoints Ponta for the assignment.

The government parties are moving forward in local elections

The parties within the governing alliance of the Social Liberal Union (USL) receive more than half the votes in local elections. The USL parties also win the mayor posts in major cities, including Bucharest. The former government coalition receives just under 14 percent of the vote, and as a result former Prime Minister Emil Boc resigns as leader of PD-L. Boc is succeeded by Vasile Blaga. The newly formed populist People’s Party-Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD) becomes the third largest party in the local elections.


New law on representation in parliament

The Legislative Assembly decides that individual representatives of political parties should be able to sit in Parliament, even if the party does not reach the five percent limit. The opposition warns that ultranationalists can now enter parliament, but the government says the decision reduces the risk of the emergence of extremist parties.

Some relief from the IMF

Following negotiations with Prime Minister Ponte’s new PSD-led government, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) accepts that salaries of civil servants from June 1 will be raised again to the level that prevailed before the cuts in 2010. In addition, a medical tax is refunded to pensioners.


Another change of government – PSD takes over

The Liberal government, which took office in February 2012, is leaving after two months, after losing a vote of confidence on proposed new budgetary tightening. Social Democratic PSD leader Victor Ponta becomes prime minister of a government alliance, called the Social Liberal Union (USL), with Social Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives.


Protests lead to a change of government

The economic crisis in the country is increasing when the cold winter calls for increased gas imports to heat housing. Over 70,000 people receive social assistance, child support or family support with the motivation that they have exempted from property tax and car tax. Extensive protests against the severe budget cuts finally lead to the government resigning. Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu, former Foreign Minister and head of the intelligence service, is appointed new Prime Minister. He forms a government coalition with the same parties as the outgoing government: the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L), the Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR) and the National Union for Romania’s Development (UNPR).


Năstase is sentenced to prison

Former Prime Minister Adrian Năstase is sentenced by the Supreme Court to two years in prison for using state funds for his 2004 presidential campaign. Năstase denies the charges. His critics see the verdict as an important step forward in Romania’s fight against corruption. Năstase has previously received a conditional judgment for irregularities in connection with the import of construction products from China.

Violent demonstrations against the government

Demonstrations are held against changes in health care, against corruption and against increased taxes and reduced pensions. More than 50 people are injured and 40 are arrested when the protests become violent. The protesters demand the resignation of the government and the president. Protests against the government continue for about a week. Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi is dismissed after commenting on the protesters.

Nine EU countries exclude Romanian workers

Nine EU countries announce that their labor markets will remain completely or partially closed to Romanians for another two years. The Romanian government expresses disappointment and declares that it will promote the free movement of Romanian workers throughout Europe.

Romania Culture

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