American Media Interested in the Story of Little Maria

little MariaThe media in the US showed a vivid interest in the story of little Maria, the blonde girl who was living with a Roma family in Greece, while for the second time a question was posed to the State Department on whether any information exists concerning the argument of four American families that the child could be their lost child.

Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department Marie Harf, responding to a question about the “blonde angel” and whether there was a contact with the Greek authorities, stated: “we are aware of the news” and that “for the moment, we don’t have information that the child is a US citizen.” “I will refer you to the Greek government for more information,” she concluded.

In the meanwhile, little Maria was a topic in several US media for yet another day. For example, Wall Street Journal reported from Athens that the Prosecutor of Greece’s Supreme Court, Euterpe Koutzamani ordered a nationwide investigation into birth certificates issued during the past six years. This, after the case of little Maria who was recently detected in a Roma Camp in Farsala, near the city of Larissa in central Greece, came to light.

According to Wall Street Journal, “government officials said there are reasons to believe that hundreds of children—many of whom may not exist—have been registered with the Athens city government alone during the past two years by people claiming fraudulent government handouts.”

For the same topic New York Times reported from Athens that “the case comes amid an increasingly acrimonious debate in Europe over how to integrate the Roma, a nomadic people who came to the Continent centuries ago from India, and who are also widely known as Gypsies.”

Costas Yiannopoulos, director of the charity The Smile of the Child which is now taking care of Maria, said to NYT: “Maria’s case opened a Pandora’s box about what’s happening with the Roma and the exploitation of not only children in Greece, but also in Europe.”

Yiannopoulos  added that there were no statistics to indicate how many children were victims of such rackets.  He stated “the authorities have not tackled the issue, for fear of being accused of racism.”


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