Greek Woman Kicking Roma Girl in Athens – Pic Goes Viral

Greece Street Musician

A photograph of a female shop owner pushing a little Roma girl street musician on a pedestrian walkway under the Acropolis to send her away has taken off on the Internet and set Greek authorities to investigate the apparent abuse.

The site is frequented by Roma children who are put there to beg, play music for donations or sell flowers, activities that in Britain were found to bring in as much as $160,00 per children, making it a very lucrative business.

The photo was taken by Associated Press photographer Dimitris Messinis at one of the busiest tourist spots in Athens, near a main Metro station and the New Acropolis Museum. It was not reported why the woman wanted the girl away from the area but it happened in front of many witnesses.

The image is shocking: A woman is kicking a girl who plays the accordion in order to drive her out of the point, perhaps because the girl offended her aesthetically.

After the uproar caused by the publication of the photograph, the Department of Child Protection of the Security of Attica launched an investigation to try to find the woman.


  1. ah i cant believe this. I recently was in athens, whilst having a coffee in the same area I was hounded seven times for money by the little rascles…………
    If their parents would rather put their children on the street to beg then the state should seize the children and adopt them out to other parents who would love the chance to give them a good life.

  2. Does not look like a kick really with the bottom of a foot. Maybe a nudge to say…go! stop begging here and tricking! They are out everyday to collect money begging. You can make a good income this way especially with visitors. It should be her parents reprimanded for making children do it!

  3. Was there in July and a brother combo was just hanging out there when one came up to my 5 year old son and hit him in the head with his accordoin. My son was shocked and I was furious. He then went on to pester another tourist by pretending to pick pocket his back pocketets.

  4. Why don’t the Associated Press take all these illegals home with them if they are so concerned about their well being? If that lady lost business because a customer didn’t go in would that Associated Press photographer have covered the losses?
    Take an empty cruise ship fill them with illegals and send them to the offices of the Associated Press.

  5. quote: “A woman is kicking a girl who plays the accordion in order to drive her out of the point, perhaps because the girl offended her aesthetically.”

    The above is such a shameful display of irresponsible, provocative, sensationalist reporting it makes me wonder why I’m even reading articles on this website.

    As said in other comments, for one thing the woman is hardly kicking. It’s a shove one would give to a child who’s being a bother and not stopping when told, and much as that would seem strange if the person who’s shoving is a total stranger to the kid but anyone with half a brain would understand that the shopkeepers and Roma kids work in close proximity to each other most of the day for most days of the week over extended periods of time. There is a sense of familiarity between the kids and the shopkeepers similar to what you might find at a town square of some settlement in rural Greece. When the kids are being too naughty, you cuff them over the head or push them aside, not to cause pain or punish but to assert yourself. Naturally, anyone living in Greece would be a bold-faced liar if they told you that there wasn’t a vertical social distance between the Roma and the Greeks and arguably race is a factor in this but there is a huge difference between an assumed sense of superiority over someone based on their race and expressing social dominance by kicking a kid who’s a different color than you. Golden Dawn members do that, not shopkeepers trying to make a living.

    If you spend some time around the shops in areas like the Acropolis and Thission, you get to observe a lot of Roma kids working these areas. They typically wander the streets and run up to people walking along, put on their saddest most pitiful face and ask for money (Sometimes they ask you to go and get them something to eat. More often than not, the people who do respond to their pleas just give them money to go buy something on their own). Sometimes, if someone refuses to give them anything, they throw a loud tantrum to attract the view of other passers by (under the gaze of so many onlookers, the “victim” sometimes feels awkward enough to give the kid anything to shut him up). Other kids,especially on very crowded streets, sit on the sidewalks, looking ragged and miserable, with plastic cups out for people to drop change into. When I say out, I mean far out, way into the courses people are walking along. People accidentally kick the cup, they notice it and the change that’s fallen out, then they notice the kid. My point in all this is that Roma kids are very clever at guilt-tripping a passer by, and they do it in some rather invasive ways.

    One of the most worked streets in these areas is called Dionisiou Areopagitoy. It is a pedestrian street running from Thission all the way to the Acropolis, featuring among other things a famous outdoor cinema, a house that formerly belonged to the great composer Vangelis, a stunning view of the Acropolis itself over the ancient Agora, and naturally several relatively expensive cafes/restaurants lining some sections of the street. For much of the evening the street is packed with tourists and Greeks alike, and the Roma kids work the moving crowds. But during midday or outside of the tourist season, the streets are relatively empty and the Roma kids work the patrons of the cafes, who tend to have a good Greek base. The problem should be apparent but, for the sake of establishing this argument I’ll spell it out anyway: the Roma kids are terribly annoying to customers and, by about the third visit of one to a table, the customers at that table will have lost most of their patience. The result is that they are unlikely to return to that cafe and unlikely to recommend it to others, and a bad reputation in these kinds of businesses costs a lot of money. The way most of the waiters at these cafes deal with this problem is that they let a kid work two or three tables and then tell him to leave. Often, they give the kid money themselves. But the kids have become more pushy lately, they sometimes refuse to leave or even make a scene. Again, this is not just bothersome, it’s very bad for business. When a waiter tries to get a little Roma child to leave, he’s not thinking about the kids race, he’s following orders from a manager and the manager isn’t thinking about the kids race, he’s protecting his livelihood.

    One final point. I live near the center of Athens and I have spent a lot of time hanging around Dionisiou Areopagitou street. I’ve seen these kids and how they behave, how they work and how they play. I recognize some of them on sight at this point. And I’ve seen many of them while they’re not “on the job,” playing with each other and running around. These kids are energetic, well fed (by the looks of them), reasonably clothed, most of them wear shoes in acceptable condition and in fact look quite clean and healthy. They are looked after by their parents, much as they are made to work in stead of go to school. Their livelihoods are very much dependent on begging but not in the same sense that a homeless persons is. They are not in dire conditions, they are “employees” in a “business” run by their parents, a business might I add that exploits the resource of human kindness and pity in ways that I deem to be morally questionable. But, that’s how they live and there’s probably nothing more wrong with it than there is with the way I or you or anyone else lives. The kids are marketing themselves as pitiful and some of us pay based on that illusion, much like some of us buy Colgate instead of store-brand toothpaste because it’s “better.” Much as some undertones of race do exist in the relationship between shop-owners and the Roma kids, they are nowhere near severe enough to deserve this outrage. It is a normal relationship between two businesses with indirectly competing interests, trying to work out a compromise. That’s all.

    So when some [email protected] reporter comes in and tosses phrases like “perhaps because the girl offended her aesthetically,” a conjecture that is so unfounded in evidence that to call it a lie would be merciful, it serves to show readers that she is as ill-informed as she is non-insightful. What kind of a website hires a reporter who is ill-informed and non-insightful, one might wonder.

    I would like to add that this sensationalist sort of journalism may make a lot of money for internet hosts, but it also spreads a bad reputation for the businesses in the areas specified in the article. This bad reputation is hurting these businesses and they have done nothing to deserve it. Perhaps, then, it is this reporter and this website who should be “kicked” in order to be driven out of the point (loosely paraphrased from the previous quote which, by the way, barely qualifies as English).

    P.S. : Maria Arkouli should be fired.

  6. These children are being forced to do this. They are still just children and therefor I don’t understand the harsh comments here. Go after the parents.

    An adult against a defensless child. Now how courageous is that? This woman should be ashamed. She is a big coward.

    This is definately not something to be proud of.

  7. To all the Greeks arguing against this case I ask you to stop being nationalistic and see it as an abuse to humanity. Stop defending your fellow Greeks to death and learn to accept that sometime your people can do immoral things which are shameful but also note that it does not reflect Greek society as a whole. You guys are only human which means you have good and bad, you need to learn to live with that and stop trying to find 1000 excuses on why foreigners are the problems. Regards

  8. I’ve read from a different source that the shop owner told people around the girl not to give the girl any money as she doesn’t give a receipt. Oh the hypocrisy.

  9. Rubbish. She’s protecting her livelihood. Tell you what, if you own a restaurant, and I stood outside your establishment, smelling and wearing rags, harassing your potential customers and being loud, would you be happy with my right to beg? Either you know nothing about business, nothing about livelihood, nothing about plight, or all of the above.

  10. I have to agree with Outsider on this. Hate is the problem. Everyone has a right to disagree with things, but once violence is used, then the game is lost. Greeks were never like this before, and I am sure it’s only a handful who are like this. Most Greeks are angry about this too.

  11. You say that WHY? You know OUR culture so well MY DEAR?????? You and your country cannot teach anything to anybody as far as RACISM is concerned!! (Signed Claudia from ROMA)

  12. It makes me furious watching these kids begging for money in such a sensitive age.The least that this unbelievable woman could do is help this pour child…NOT TO KICK HER!!! Because of such horrible behavior everyone all over the world believe that all greeks are racists.

  13. Not all Greek are racists, not all Roma are criminals… Please everyone just try to be a little bit more intelligent!

  14. Tthe little girl is not a “street musician” she is a pest, vermon, a serial beggar, and a hinderance to business, the image shows no evidense of this illegal gypsy being kicked either.

  15. Looks staged to me. It looks that woman is a dark complexioned Roma herself and she is dressing the same kitschy style many Roma woman do: from the huge tacky ring, to the bracelet on the same wrist as her watch, and the ankle bracelet. Also it seems like that lady just placed her foot on the Roma kid and didn’t kick her. The lady allegedly doing the kick seems to have such a small range of motion it would be almost impossible to catch her kicking unless you already had a camera out, focused and ready to shoot. Even then it would be hard to capture spontaneously.

  16. This little street urchin should have been sent back to India along with the rest of her clan.

  17. You’re right. Violence is not the answer and hate is the problem. When Greece was invaded by Turks and Persians throughout history, they should have just welcomed them with open arms — “we’re all human, my land is your land” — rather than going to war to defend what was rightfully theirs.

    You’re an idiot; and your pretentious and self-righteous façade makes me sick.

  18. So, the Department of Child Protection of the Security of Attica is alarmed by a photograph showing someone shoving a child with her foot instead of being alarmed by the fact that the child and many others of her kin are put in the streets to beg and work? Makes, what?

  19. That girl has no right being In Greece to begin with. Deport her, along with the rest of them.

  20. Why not instead find the parents that leave their young child on the streets vulnerable to this nudging from abusers and molesters. Instead of protecting and nurturing their children they neglect and use them as a source of income. Time to Hold them accountable rather than go after those who are fed up with these unfortunate street urchins.

  21. Well racism is everywhere but trust me this lady could be greek as well as an immigrant in Greece…you would be really surprised to know that Albanian, Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants tend to be more racist against roma people…

  22. Well Roma people in Greece are a pain in the ass…sorry to say…but for the ones I know here, I am so very dissapointed…I know two families though who live away from the rest and who are very respectable…sending their kids to school and working…not begging, not stealing but actually working…trust me…they are well accepted by anyone…it’s not the race we dislike…it;s the behaviour…

  23. Search your roots a bit…doesn’t hurt…I am “Greek” but I am pretty sure I’m not too close to the Ancient ones in a dna aspect…

  24. There is a whole roma neighborhood next to mine and yes…they do sell drugs…several neighborhoods like that across the country…they are not the only ones who sell drugs and I agree that they cooperate with Greek, Albanian, Bulgarian and who knows what else kind of scum in this country to do this…but the roma are the only ones who do it without precaution….the ones who create ghettos in this country…places that you can’t even pass by car after 7pm….research better….

  25. First of all….there is no proof this is real…second there is no proof this woman is greek….third…I have tried to help a roma child and then suddenly all her familly started gathering in my yard asking me stuff….when I said I can’t help you anymore, leave…her granny cursed me with cancer…enough said…

  26. The little girl’s name is Bona. I have encountered her twice over the course of 3 years in Athens (near Monastiraki square). I met her once in 2010, when she was no more than 3 years old and then I met her again in May 2013 near Thanasis. She is absolutely beautiful. It is funny that since my first encounter with her she has always stayed in my memory. The littly gypsy girl in Athens – what had become of her? Then by some God Wink from above I come across this article and see her being treated so poorly. While I understand the frustration of the tax payers in Greece – you cant help but feel for this poor child. She is doing the only thing society will let her do and then they punish her for doing it. I have a picture of her from my last visit. I would have loved to upload it on this site (just wasnt sure how?) I honestly pray that someone (tourists and Greek citizens alike) read this message, find her and help her live the life she truly deserves. If life ever takes me back to Athens I promise myself I will help her.

  27. The woman isn’t doing anything wrong she is shushing her off because the kids come and beg non stop fallowing you around till you give them money , they steal from you, money, jewelry, passports, wallets, extra. It’s sad because they are children but trust me they fully understand what they are doing and they don’t think twice about ripping you off… She’s not kicking her she’s telling her to leave big difference. i’m a business owner and I definitely don’t want a gypsy stealing and ripping of my customers. They look like the y don’t have anything but trust me they have much much more than any of us….. They don’t get taxed, they get free hospitalization, free food, free clothing, they don’t have bank accounts, passports, our Any type of identity, that means they could rape ,.murder ,rob, kill, anyone and get away with it, and they are every day. the same also goes to the Pakistanis.

  28. Yeah you are also right Shekel, the Greeks prior to being attacked by the Turks and the Persians they have earned all the Greek lands peacefully without killing any inhabitants on the way :), how dare they conquer lands that were conquered peacefully 🙂

  29. Greece is part of God’s green earth, and being Greek usually means a devotion to God right? Then why not show compassion for an innocent child it was God’s will to make her a Roma, why not share God’s love for a fellow human, a child? He loves all his children no mature where they’re from or what ethnicity they are. She can not help that she was born a Roma but does that make her any less valuable to God? Hating people only spreads more hate until it grows and grows. Besides being a Roma what harm has that child caused you?

  30. She can not help but do as her parents tell her to do, she just needs a little guidance to create a better life for herself. Pity the child and blame her parents not her heritage.