Romania is one of the poorest countries in the European Union. Although poverty in Romania has deep historic roots, the country’s present socioeconomic situation bears the marks of its socialist experience of nearly half a century (from 1947 to 1989), whose legacy still affects contemporary Romania. The shortage economy of the socialist regime entered into chronic crisis during the 1980s, when the lines formed in front of food stores for basic products became a constant feature of Romanians’ everyday lives. The bloody revolution of 1989 did not significantly improve Romanians’ quality of life. Conversely, the post-Communist economy generated successive waves of inflation, unprecedented rates of unemployment (against the background of economic deindustrialization), general corruption, and, as a consequence, an impaired quality of life. In people’s ...

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