Blonde Non-Gypsy Maria Dances Like A Gummy Bear For Tabloid Cash
MARIA, the blonde child found living with non-blondes Hristos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, in Greece is the subject of what the Sun calls a “disturbing film”. In it the “little girl made to dance for cash”.
No, not like on the X Factor. Well, sort of.
The Daily Mirror is so outraged it tells its readers:
Watch Greece girl ‘Maria’ dance for gypsy woman in video as eight “promising” leads emerge in hunt for parents
The Mirror’s video is topped by an advert. Maria is till dancing for money. Ker-ching!
Ian Murphy adds in the Sun:
THE little girl rescued from a gypsy camp dances for her captors in this disturbing video handed to cops.
Rescued. Surely, she was found? And are they are captors? We know that she is in the care of a children’s charity, from which there is little chance of escape. Does she know her new family? If her birth mother and father come forward to claim her, will they be allowed to keep her or will the State own Maria?
In the 29-second clip she twirls in circles in the middle of a sunny yard as a dark-haired woman watches.
The blonde dancing for the darkies.
When the tot falters and stops the woman pushes her back into the centre of the screen and she starts again. The girl — now four, but believed to be just one at the time — is dressed in a white T-shirt and pink shorts with a dummy in her mouth.
Her hair appears darker than the light blonde in pictures released after her rescue, backing up the theory it had been dyed by her fake parents.
What else do we know? Well, the Mail has news of the “blonde angle”:
First pictures of gypsy couple ‘who snatched Maria’ as they appear in court accused of abduction and facing up to 20 years in prison
What do the accused say?
“It was an adoption that was not exactly legal, but took place with the mother’s consent,” Constantinos Katsavos, one of the lawyers representing Salis, told reporters, adding that is what the couple testified in court.
At the weekend a charity caring for the girl said she was treated like a ‘dancing bear’ by the family she lived with – who exploited her innocent looks, making her beg for money.
Or a dancing Gummy Bear, as the Daily Mirror would have it.
What charity said that?
Athens-based charity Smile of the Child.
Who are they?
“We all know and talk about children on the streets who can’t smile. They can’t smile because they don’t have money, toys, or food and some of them don’t even have parents. Just think and leave all the talking behind: let’s unite and give whatever we can to poor children, Albanians, white and black. They are all children and deserve a smile. This association will be called: “The Smile of the Child”. Let’s all come together to help, together we can accomplish it.”
(From founder Andreas’ diary, November 1995)
Maria Dimitriou, 21, granddaughter of the gipsy camp’s leader, says:
“Her mother sent her to join us on the stage. She liked dancing – she was not treated badly.”
SoTC’s director Costas Yannopoulos added:
“She was living under bad conditions and was very dirty, but is now safe. ‘In the footage you could see her dancing, going round and round like a little trained bear. I believe they were getting money from exploiting the child.”
Exploited by whom? The people paying money to see her dance?
Dimopoulou’s daughter Panagiota, 18, who released the footage to local television, defended the video. “Maria likes dancing… She was only pushed in the video because she got too close to the camera. There is no way we would use her for money – that is a lie. We took her in because her mother could not look after her.”
Babis Dimitriou, the chairman of the Farsala village Roma association, told The Daily Telegraph: “There was a Bulgarian husband and wife who were working around Greece in temporary jobs, who used to stay here sometimes.
“At one point they left the girl to be raised by the family here in the village. The family raised the child as if it was their own, although her father would come back every now and then to see her. The last time he visited was only five days ago, after the arrests had been made. All the other Roma here were telling the Bulgarian man to explain to the police that the girl was his, but he has now disappeared.” While Mr Dimitriou’s account was backed by other residents, Greek police are continuing to investigate the possibility that the blonde, blue-eyed child had been taken without her parents’ consent.
Yesterday, locals insisted that the girl had been well looked after, with her adoptive mother taking her to a local clinic occasionally for treatment for an eye problem.
“This gipsy mother was the only mother this girl has ever had,” said Christos Lioupis, a Greek farmer with many Roma friends locally. “The biological mother was not her real one because she abandoned the girl.” A Greek television station interviewed a man calling himself Kostas, who claimed to be the brother of the arrested man and said the girl was very loved and cared for. “We got this girl in a very nice way,” he said. “We raised her. We got her. She was given to us and we raised her.” However, the director of the Greek charity that is now caring for Maria said he suspected that she had been used for begging by her adoptive Roma family.
More from the charity men:
Costas Giannopoulos, the director of the Child’s Smile organisation, told the BBC: “They will use this little girl in the streets to beg because she was blonde and cute.”
That blondness means she is world news. Black, brown and ginger kids don’t sell news…