The modern state of Romania was formed by the merging of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 under the Moldavian domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza. He was replaced by Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1866. During the Russo-Turkish War, Romania fought on the Russian side; in the Treaty of Berlin in 1878 Romania was recognized as an independent state by the Great Powers.
A short-lived period of relative economic well-being and openness followed in late 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, still regarded by some as a "golden era". This period gradually ended, first politically, and then economically.
The move was highly contested by the other emerging political parties, because the FSN controlled most media and therefore the election process was biased.
Despite Romania's rapid economic development, poverty is still a pervasive problem, and modernization's effects are only slowly being felt in the country's rural areas. Entrance to the European Union, however, will further speed up the country's development.
The majority of Romania's trade is oriented towards the countries of the European Union. For the first 3 months of 2006, Romania's exports rose 24.8%, while imports rose 31%, in part due to a rise in real wages. In March 2006, Romanian exports grew to a record value of €3.5 billion/month. The trade deficit was about €1.2 billion in the first three months of the year, well within the target for 2006. In present, at a series of economical indicators, Romania has a similar situation of the new member states of EU, the export of highly technological products being of 4.5% from total exports, comparatively higher than Poland which has only 2.7% from exports.
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