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Athens: Shop owner kicks accordion playing Roma girl

A moment of unprecedented racism right under the glory of the Acropolis. At Dionysioy Aeropagitoy Street. A street full of tourists, street vendors and musicians. A young Roma girl is playing the accordion. She must be six or seven years old. Tourists pass by and drop half a euro or half a dollar. A well-off middle age woman wearing the status symbols of  the middle class is obviously annoyed by the presence of the girl. The woman has a shop selling souvenirs to tourists. Her shop is just a couple of meters away.

Holding a fashion magazine the ignorant female approaches the accordion player and pushes her away with her foot.

Greece Street Musician

  With the loath of pushing away a piece of dirt from the street. I wonder, the woman used her shoe and not the magazine.

The woman pushes away the girl not once but twice. The girl is stunned. The tourists who watch the scene as well. “Don’t give her money,” the woman urges the tourists.

Greece Street Musician

Associated Press photographer Dimitris Messinis captures the incredible moment with his camera. He also starts a quarrel with the woman and sharply lashes out at her and her behavior. “Get out of here, mister,” the woman tells him and continues “the girl does not issue receipts.”

Greece Street Musician

A Roma girl brand-marked as “tax-evader”.

Inside the tufted red-dyed hair a small racist voice most likely whispers that “tax evaders of six or seven years old have to be pushed away.” Like an annoying fly. Like a piece of dirt.  To save the country from the economic collapse. Supremacy fantasies channeled to wrong targets. The vulnerable ones.

No need to stress that the pictures are all over the internet causing an unbelievable outrage among Greek internet users. Racist behavior in Athens most visited street – by tourists.

PS Some  recall that it’s primarily the shop owners hunted by the Financial Crimes Units (SDOE) for not issuing receipts when they sell goods, they cash the Value added Tax and they’re known as notorious tax evaders…

 

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27 comments

  1. Terrible. How are you sure it was a tourist although it hardly matters. This is disgraceful behaviour!!

    Ps do you mean receipts as opposed to recipes?

  2. rec·i·pe = A set of directions with a list of ingredients for making or preparing something, especially food.

    re·ceipt = To mark (a bill) as having been paid.

    you’re most welcome 🙂

  3. yes and yes. it’s receipts – I knew something was wrong but my hunger was bigger…

  4. It is a rotten shame that the name of the woman’s shop was not published along with a photo of her face. She deserves to be pushed out of business and swatted away like a fly. Racism, especially toward innocent children is disgusting.

  5. Unprecedented racism? Really? Unprecedented? Like the worst act of racism in human history? I think a little perspective might be needed here…

  6. she looks very greek, shame on her!
    Abd shame on all who don’t say: NO!

  7. To Ms. Rollins,
    The so called “lady” is not a tourist. She is a shop owner. She has no respect!

  8. the woman is a Greek shop owner, not a tourist.

  9. TODAY I AM ASHAMED OF BEING GREEK

  10. The law in Greece is that all children go to school from the age of 6. No attempt is ever made to enforce this law with Roma children. There should be special classrooms with specially trained teachers. There should be university places waiting and jobs in the state system. In one generation the problem will be solved. Whilst marginalised by the state they will always be illiterate beggars.In one generation we could have Roma doctors and lawyers.

  11. certainly. but not in Greece of loan agreements especially nowadays. Nevertheless Greece was always slow in implementiing minorities policies and measures.

  12. The child should not be there in the first place. Why don’t you see gypsy kids playing in Berlin, Paris, Brussels or elsewhere? Greek society is “soft” and incredibly “tolerant”. Gypsy parents exploit this fact. When single citizens take the right in their hands (or feet in this case) it seems cruel and inhuman. The hell with the politically correct philanthropes.

  13. Greeks are the new Nazis. Bye-bye tourism! No one will come to Greece anymore. Wake up citizens! Kick the racists and Nazis to the curb and reclaim your country!

  14. Sorry, no gypsies in Paris? Barcelona? Geneva? Vienna? Milan… you must live on another planet.

    [sarcasm/]
    As to Greek society being soft and tolerant? Yeah, you’re right, as this story relates. I’m frightened to imagine what would have happened to the little girl had the shop owner been “intolerant”…
    [/sarcasm]

  15. Sorry, no gypsies in Paris? Barcelona? Geneva? Vienna? Milan… you must live on another planet.

    [sarcasm/]
    As to Greek society being soft and tolerant? Yeah, you’re right, as this story relates. I’m frightened to imagine what would have happened to the little girl had the shop owner been “intolerant”…
    [/sarcasm]

  16. Sorry, no gypsies in Paris? Barcelona? Geneva? Vienna? Milan… you must live on another planet.

    [sarcasm/]
    As to Greek society being soft and tolerant? Yeah, you’re right, as this story relates. I’m frightened to imagine what would have happened to the little girl had the shop owner been “intolerant”…
    [/sarcasm]

  17. I sense a different “tone” in some of the comments than I did a few months ago. Interesting. Maybe people just get weary of being weary?

  18. Dont be too naive! the girl is NOT playing the accordion! she’s 6 years old! she just makes that instrument produce noises! she is just a BEGGER ! i agree the woman shouldnt have had that attitude! but let me tell u what happens: every single penny that u give to an “innocent” child goes somewhere else; there’s always an entire network controlling this “emotional” image that will make you pull some money out of your pocket! next time you’ll see a gipsy gentleman driving a mercedes, ferrari or god knows what expensive car, be sure your money for the “innocent accordion girl” reached its purpose! dont let yourselves fooled! DONT GIVE THEM MONEY! when was the last time you begged for money and somebody gave it to you for free?! probably never! so, let them go to school, have a job and work for that money!

  19. is this a website promoting gypsies? i just posted something 2 hours ago and i can see nothing!

  20. yes, we’re promoting gypsies. any problem?

  21. In some parts of Greece Roma do attend school as well as university. There are already Rom teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc., many of whom hide their Rom roots because of the prejudice of other Greeks.

  22. anger?

  23. Don’t be! It’s really not your fault!

  24. Ioannis S. Stouppos, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. As for being revolted by acts of violence to children, it’s not just “politically correct”: it’s right!

  25. Give them schools, then. Don’t turn them away!

  26. no. hunger lol

  27. a very ‘arguing’ reaction from website’s moderator! objective should be the word for a journalist! at least for a true one!