NEWS

Romania

Romanians and Greeks have known each other for a long time and have always been friends, as they have never been opponents during critical historical moments. Greek settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries in Bucharest, Ploesti and Iasi and other later political refugees have always held the Greek aura alive in the Danube and Carpathia, even during the difficult communist times. When the regime fell, the Greeks were the first to start corporate activity in what was already a favorable environment. Five hundred Greek companies employing 30,000 workers currently operate in the country today. Greek enjoys prestige in the Romanian Constitution as a minority language. Communities and schools There are 5,500 «old Greeks» living in 22 organized communities who can elect a parliamentary deputy, another 3,000 who speak Greek and originate from Greek families of the 18th century but cannot provide written proof of this, 800 political refugees who have chosen to live here and 6,000 who settled in the 1990s for professional reasons. The latter also run a Greek school for their children in Bucharest. In such a favorable atmosphere where the Greek tradition is deeply rooted, the Greek language and letters have found fertile soil. Institutes for Greek abound here too and there are Modern Greek language courses at Bucharest University as well as the active Romanian Society for Modern Greek Studies. «There is a rich tradition in literary translation from Modern Greek and an impressive number of translated texts,» said the society’s deputy president, Elena Lazar. Greek music is also much loved by the young, while many Romanians spend their summers in tourist resorts in northern Greece.