underthewillows: (Default)
[personal profile] underthewillows
Remember the case of the Greek Roma couple with the "blonde angel" child that kicked the whole tawdry affair in Ireland off?

Well, news to hand indicates that no, the Greek couple aren't the biological parents.

But it turns out the girl is not a White Christian possibly Eastern European, possibly Northern European child stolen by Gypsies.

Yes, another blue-eyed, blonde-haired, fair-skinned child is ethnically Roma. According to this story, her mother is a Bulgarian Roma woman who was working in Greece as itinerant farm labour (olive picking), and gave over her baby to the couple when it was born because she was too poor to look after it herself.

Which is the story the original couple have been telling all along: they informally 'adopted' the child who was given to them by the mother.

Well, the Bulgarian authorities are trying to charge the birth mother with "child selling" (even though there's no evidence to date that I am aware of that she received any money for her baby) and the Greek authorities have charged the Greek couple with abduction (how well that charge will hold up when all parties claim it was voluntary and consensual exchange, I don't know) and document fraud.

Ah, that last is the kicker. Now we've moved on from "Gypsies stealing our White children" (when the child isn't one of our White children, she's fair-skinned Roma) to "Welfare cheats, dole scroungers, benefit fraud" and Gypsies, tramps and thieves as the Cher song had it.

They have been jailed pending trial, and are also suspected of fraudulently obtaining birth certificates for 14 children.

Greek authorities are trying to work out whether the children all exist, or whether the alleged document fraud was part of a welfare scam.

The couple allegedly received more than €2,500 a month in family benefits.

They insist they were looking after Maria with their own five children after an informally arranged adoption.


Now, maybe there was a scam going on. Maybe they were gaming the system. I have no idea. But at the moment, given the amount of confusion, hysteria, and resurrection of old stereotypes, old canards, and blatant racism as demonstrated in the Greek case and in the two children temporarily taken into care in my own country - I'm taking everything with a sack-full of salt.
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