Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a
communist "peoples republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the
king. The decades-long rule of President Nicolae CEAUSESCU became
increasingly draconian through the 1980s. He was overthrown and executed in
late 1989. Former communists dominated the government until 1996 when they
were defeated in elections. Much economic restructuring remains to be carried
out before Romania can achieve its hope of joining the EU.
Corruption is deeply integrated into public life and many officials
from the former communists, the apparatchiks, moved effortlessly into
powerhold positions in the new democracy.