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Gypsy fears over stigma

Gypsies living in a Greek camp are worried they will be all stigmatised as child traffickers after a couple was arrested and accused of abducting a little girl.

The common refrain among many of the 2,000 Gypsies, or Roma, living in prefabricated homes near the central town of Farsala is "Not all Roma steal children. If someone did something, they should pay for it".

The blonde, blue-eyed girl, who is about four, was found on Wednesday when police raided the camp looking for drugs and weapons. Now, police want to find the biological parents of the girl and will investigate international child trafficking rings.

The president of the local Roma community, Babis Dimitriou, hopes there is no backlash against the community. He says "it doesn't reflect on all of us."

The family of British toddler, Ben Needham, who disappeared on the Greek island of Kos aged 21 months in 1991, say the discovery of the blonde child gives them hope that Ben may still be alive and could be returned to his family.

AP

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