was merged with the Romanian Babes University in the same city. Hungarian language instructions were practically abolished. The Hungarian Autonomous Region was reduced in size, and thousands of ethnic Hungarians were now living outside its boundaries, subject to Romanization pressures. Hungarian archives and libraries, some of them centuries old, were simply destroyed. Eventually, Hungarian language classes in schools were merged with those of Romanian instruction, and the Hungarian curriculum was simply eliminated. Similar tactics were used against the German minority. In addition, the communists encouraged the ethnic Germans to leave Romania. West Germany actually paid for every emigrant who wanted to leave Romania, and this provided a handsome profit for the Ceausescu regime.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the situation concerning ethnic and human rights continued to deteriorate. The Ceausescu regime proclaimed Romania to be a unitary national state, refusing even to acknowledge the existence of national minorities. Since the overthrow of the commumst regime, the situation has changed somewhat, and a Hungarian political party has emerged, but pressure for the assimilation of ethnic minorities has not stopped.
Fischer-Galati Stephen, Twentieth Century Romania, 2nd ed. ( New York, 1992); King, Robert R. , Minorities Under Communism ( Cambridge, England, 1973).
Oil Production in Romania. Romania has had tremendous oil reserves. The German, and Soviet, interest in the Ploiesti oil fields has been the cause of much misery for the Romanians. However, by the time the Romanian Communist party had gained power, the reserves had gone into a decline. The emergence of OPEC and the oil embargo against the West in 1973 changed the situation. By then, Romania was an oil- importing country. But the Ceausescu government did not give up its effort to remain in the forefront of oil production. It concentrated on building a first-class oil refinery system, with capacities far beyond those needed by Romania. The country began to import cheap oil, refine it, and sell the product for good prices to Western and other customers. But crude oil was available only for hard currency. Even the Soviet Union began to insist on charging dollars for oil delivered to Romania. Romania simply did not have the hard currency for this purpose. The further jump in oil prices in 1978 was not followed by a corresponding increase in prices for refined oil on the world markets. This created imbalances in Romania's economy.
The Iranian revolution created more problems for the Romanians. Before the revolution, Ceausescu signed a very favorable agreement with the Shah. But the Ayatollahs repudiated all previous agreements whether they were signed with Western or Eastern governments. The Iraq-Iran war further complicated the situation. The Romanian economy was then squeezed between high crude oil prices, inadequate levels of domestic crude oil production, and idle refining capacities.
At first, the regime tried to solve the problem by severely restricting domestic energy consumption. Private automobile travel was reduced to every second day regu