Justice after four years. The woman who pushed away with her foot an accordion playing Roma girl was finally sentenced by a court in Athens.
Dimitris Messinis, the photographer who shot the picture in September 2013 , and made the arrogant abuse public, posted on his Facebook account, that the shop owner was finally convicted.
“After several postponements and delays, the woman was sentenced to three months imprisonment on suspension,” the retired Associated Press photographer wrote. “There are times that I am really proud of my vocation,” he added.
The incident took place on Dionisiou Aeropagitoy Street, the road that leads to Acropolis, on September 17th 2013. The camera captures the woman to push away the little girl. She is holding a fancy women’s magazine and uses her foot to push away the young accordion player. The girl is around 7 or 8 years old, the woman is the owner of a shop selling souvenirs to tourists.
The girl is stunned, the tourists who watch the scene as well.
“Don’t give her money,” the woman urges the tourists.
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 adds as if to justify the racist abuse “the girl does not issue receipts.”
The racist voice apparently whispered to the abuser that tax evaders of six or seven years old have to be pushed away, like a piece of dirt or an annoying fly because they bring Greece into economic collapse.
The picture goes viral, the prosecutor intervenes, the issue is being even debated also in the Greek Parliament.
There is a public outrage about the racist behavior, and some point out that it is primarily the shop owners who are notorious tax evaders as they do not issue receipts.
After four years, finally justice: the woman who claimed to defend the states policy to combat tax evasion get convicted. She did not appear in court.
Shop owners are often annoyed when beggars or street music players stand in front of their stores, claiming that they scare off customers.