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Friday, October 25, 2013

Blonde angel's mother found

Blonde angel Maria with couple who said they were her parents

There are an estimated 10 million Roma living across Europe and the Council of Europe, which monitors human rights, say they are the most discriminated-against minority.

Global media went into overdrive when police discovered a little blonde haired girl called Maria living in a Greek gipsy camp. During a police raid, she stood out like a sore thumb and DNA tests proved she wasn't related to the couple claiming to be her parents.

How could this be, we wondered?  Blonde haired, fair skinned children don't belong in a dirty gipsy camp - she must be stolen. But Maria wasn't on Interpol's list of missing children and there were no claims that she had been kidnapped.

Parents of abducted children living in the west, like the McCanns, suddenly had renewed hope that maybe this stolen child could be theirs, but she wasn't.  Police think they have now found the mother and DNA tests are underway to remove all doubt.

Sasha Ruseva and child

She's a 35 year old woman who looks twice her age.  She lives with her husband and ten children in shocking poverty in Bulgaria.  Her name is Sasha Ruseva and she's been arrested twice for trying to sell her baby in Greece and skipped bail on both occasions.

Police believe she sold her baby for around $A1,000 but the mother strongly denies this and says she wants her daughter back.

She claims she couldn't afford to pay for a birth certificate and had to leave her child behind with a friend in Greece. When you see the state of her family's living conditions, it's clear the last thing they need is another mouth to feed.

The mystery of how a blonde child can belong to dark-skinned parents has been solved.  Her husband has an albino gene and five of their other children are blonde and fair skinned and look just like Maria.

The pictures of the family's dire living conditions are shocking. Twelve souls survive on child benefit payments of around $A100 a month and Mr Ruseva likes a drink, and who could blame him? They live on potato soup and homemade bread.  They only have one bed and there is no water connected to the two-room dwelling.

Mrs Ruseva said "I don't know how to pay for their clothes, that is why I send them to school dirty and without shoes or clothes, look at me, look how dirty I am."

This sad case has brought the state of Roma to the attention of the world.  Most Roma in Eastern Europe (where the majority live) are now worse off than they were under Communism.  With all its faults, it guaranteed them work, housing and welfare.

The UN children's agency Unicef said there are approximately 3,000 children in Greece in the hands of child-trafficking rings originating in Bulgaria, Romania and other Balkan countries.  Most cases are not thought to involve abduction but rather the buying and selling of children for a few thousand euros.