Unwilling Gypsy bride, 12, rescued in Piraeus

A northern Greek Gypsy couple have been arrested for abducting a 12-year-old girl their teenage son had been deeply smitten with, police said yesterday. The family, which lived in Thrace but whose names were not made public, had visited the girl’s parents – also Gypsies – in the eastern Macedonian town of Kavala, to request her hand in marriage for their 14-year-old son. But their suit was rejected, as the Kavala family felt their daughter was too young for marriage. Undeterred, the Thracian Gypsies lay in wait outside the girl’s house, and, when the 12-year-old eventually emerged to buy cigarettes for her father, forced her into their car and drove off. Several days later, police caught the three, with the unwilling bride, in Piraeus, boarding a ferry for Crete. Although the legal age of marriage is 18, minors may wed if a court decides that it would be in their best interest.