Europeans are outraged by pictures this week showing two dead teenage girls laid out on a beach with their feet sticking out from under covers. It was not the corpses, however, that shocked many. It was the sunbathers sitting only a few feet away, unconcerned and unbothered by the dead girls as they enjoyed the beach. The fact that the girls were Roma, or gypsies, has added to the controversy.
The Italians, and many tourists, have a long hostility for the Roma. Indeed, a Roma camp was burned to the ground last year.
The two girls are believed to have been begging and selling trinkets on the beach when they went for a swim. They could not swim and the strong current proved too much for them.
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The Church and newspapers have decried the response of sunbathers.
La Repubblica wrote “While the lifeless bodies of the girls were still on the sand, there were those who carried on sunbathing or having lunch just a few metres away.”
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