Saturday, October 26, 2013

Europe's anti-Roma racism (EN)

Traditionally strongest in Central Europe (plenty of nasty examples from recent history in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic etc.), the anti-Roma racism has rapidly spread in Western Europe since the EU enlargement. I pass on France's forced expulsion of Roma (EC Vice-president V. Reding said it all when she compared it to anti-Jewish persecutions during WW II), to focus just on the recent case in Greece that sparked a new wave of hysteria across Europe.

Greek authorities find a blonde girl ("the blond angel") in a Roma family, and suspect she may be abducted. DNA tests confirm that she is not the biological offspring of her so-called parents. While they offer a story of informal adoption, they are put in jail and much of Europe is frantically looking for the real parents ("she looks Scandinavian" is the dominant opinion). Ancestral myths of children abductions by the Roma are revived. In Ireland, a blonde girl is taken away by authorities from her Roma family, only to be returned later when DNA tests confirm that she is indeed from that family (well, yes, there are blond Roma children occasionally, as can be easily checked in many Roma communities).
The cases multiply, and note what crude racial profiling is sufficient to trigger police action:
"The police seized the girl after receiving a tip about a blonde-haired, blue-eyed child who looked nothing like her family, the Sunday World reports." 

Eventually, the biological parents of the "blond angel" found in Greece are identified in Bulgaria, and confirmed by DNA tests. They are, well, dark-skinned Roma themselves; and they confirm the informal adoption story (true, the Roma are not so good with the paperwork).

So what will happen now? Will the Greek Roma family be released from prison, with apologies and perhaps some compensation? Will they be allowed to keep the little girl whom they raised as their daughter?

My guess is different: