And the first order of the day is clearly to throw cold water on any speculation that criminality might be a big aspect of Roma culture:
Dozens of people from the Roma community in Farsala who know the family, told The Independent the couple looked after little "Maria" well and cared for her deeply.
"We're poor nomads and we may not know letters but we love and look after our children," said one Roma woman as she carried her granddaughter in her arms.
Around her, groups of young children swirled, were laughing and playing in the early hours of Monday evening. Nearby, a man fixes his car while his wife cleans the windows of their home.Awww, how heartwarming! Surely such a ‘community’ couldn't be all bad?
In some Roma settlements, illegal activities such as drug dealing and the trading of stolen goods are known to take place. But many protest that criminal elements represent only a small fragment of the community.But…how small? Isn't that the question we should be asking? Because it doesn't seem very small to me:
The Roma couple charged with abducting little "Maria" are illiterate, and had registered their family in several towns.
They claimed they had 14 children, making declarations that would have meant Dimopoulou would have had to have given birth to six children in less than 10 months. Ten of the 14 children are unaccounted for.
Police have said the two suspects received around €2,500 euros ($3,420) a month in child welfare subsidies from three different cities.
The director of Athens' records office and two senior officials have been suspended while an investigation takes place. It is not uncommon for such papers to be falsified in Greece, by people from all walks of life.Yeah, yeah, sure. Everyone’s at it. It’s no reflection on the people who are continually arrested for it, right?
The saddest thing about the whole affair is not the ‘persecution’ of the criminals, but this aspect:
Since it published Maria's picture, it has received thousands of calls and emails from parents around the world, hoping that she may be their lost child.I know where my sympathy lies.