Wednesday May 6, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Maria may be older than four, says charity boss as confusion surrounds parents' identity

The girl found with a Roma family in central Greece last week may be older than four and says she is happy that she has been taken into care, the head of a children’s organization that is looking after her has told Kathimerini’s website.

The president of The Smile of the Child, Constantinos Yiannopoulos, said that authorities initial assessment that the girl was four was based on a forged birth certificate and there is evidence to suggest she is older.

Yiannopoulos told www.kathimerini.gr that the girl, Maria, is finding it difficult to communicate because she speaks mostly Roma but she has told a psychologist taking care of her that she is happy. The charity boss also said that the girl has not asked to see any member of the family that were looking after her.

“In contrast to the first day, when she was in a state of shock, little Maria is now feeling absolutely calm,” said Yiannopoulos. “She felt our support and warmth and its significant that she is in an environment that is clean.”

The Roma man and woman claiming to be her parents are due to face a magistrate on Monday on kidnapping charges after DNA tests revealed that she was not their daughter. They claim that they agreed to look after the girl after her Bulgarian mother said she could not look after her any longer.

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.”

An international search has been launched to find Maria’s real parents.

The Smile of the Child says it has received more than 8,000 calls in connection to Maria. Its website has been visited more than 200,000 times and 500,000 people have viewed the organization’s Facebook page.

Yiannopoulos said he hoped the case involving Maria would prompt European authorities to look more closely at the issue of child trafficking. He said there was a ring operating in Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece.

At the end of August, Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou informed Parliament that judicial authorities were investigating more than 40 cases of alleged child trafficking in Greece, mostly in Thessaloniki and eastern Crete.

ekathimerini.com , Monday October 21, 2013 (14:07)  
EU, IMF hit back at Greece in bailout row
Dragasakis denies rift rumors
WHO report: 77 pct of men and 67 pct of women in Greece to be overweight by 2030
Greek police ´frequently harass and abuse´ marginalized people, HRW says
Deal remains elusive though Greece makes IMF payment [Update]
Greece made a small interest payment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday but European lenders dashed hopes for a cash-for-reforms deal before a more crucial, bigger installment A...
ECB set to decide on increasing Greek bank lifeline
The European Central Bank's Governing Council on Wednesday may nudge up the amount of Emergency Liquidity Assistance teetering Greek banks can borrow, as Athens struggles to avert a potentia...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greece set to escape ban as sports law goes to parliament
Greek soccer is set to breathe a sigh of relief as the country's controversial new sports law was submitted to parliament on Wednesday with the necessary amendments to avoid a FIFA and UEFA ...
TRACK & FIELD
Over 18,000 runners participate in the Athens Half Marathon
The 4th Athens Half Marathon was an unqualified organizing and sporting success on Sunday, as thousands of runners joined in the race of the 21-kilometers and the 3k and 5k runs in the capit...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Greece´s ´Blazing Saddles´ strategy isn´t working
There's a scene in the 1974 Mel Brooks movie "Blazing Saddles" where the besieged sheriff points a gun at his own head and threatens to shoot himself if the townspeople threatening to kill h...
COMMENTARY
A ‘logical’ scenario vs historical accidents
The country has reached a point where there is only one “logical” scenario left. By now, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras understands very well the meaning of bankruptcy, a credit event and a G...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. EU, IMF hit back at Greece in bailout row
2. Deal remains elusive though Greece makes IMF payment [Update]
3. Greece set to escape ban as sports law goes to parliament
4. Dragasakis denies rift rumors
5. WHO report: 77 pct of men and 67 pct of women in Greece to be overweight by 2030
6. ECB set to decide on increasing Greek bank lifeline
more news
Today
This Week
1. A ‘logical’ scenario vs historical accidents
2. Greece said to have made 200 mln euro IMF payment due Wednesday
3. Greece's 'Blazing Saddles' strategy isn't working
4. Defense minister offers to bolster NATO, help fight against terrorism
5. Mardas denies report he transferred cash abroad after joining gov't
6. Inexplicable decision
Today
This Week
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Greece’s decade-long relationship with Merkel
3. Greek decision to exit euro would be disastrous for Greece
4. Varoufakis attacked by anarchists while dining in Athens
5. No need to widen the rift
6. Empty admissions of fault
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.