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Crowdfunded site for Greek debt nears €1,500,000 in contributions

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By Chris Harris
Crowdfunded site for Greek debt nears €1,500,000 in contributions

A crowdfunding campaign with its goal the equivalent of the Greek €1,6 billion IMF debt has a few more hundreds of millions to raise.

While this may seem like a drop in the ocean, in this case it’s also the statement that counts.

At the time of writing, five days into its 10-day campaign, the Greek Bailout Fund on Indiegogo has raised €1,336,128.

Thom Feeney, a 29-year-old from London, was fed up with the ongoing deadlock between Greece and its international lenders, so he set up the crowdfunding campaign to help the country’s debt crisis. Crowdfunding is a way of raising money online from ordinary people.

Mr Feeney, who works in a shoe shop, said: “All this dithering over Greece is getting boring. European ministers flexing their muscles and posturing over whether they can help the Greek people or not. Why don’t we the people just sort it instead?

“The European Union is home to 503 million people, if we all just chip in a few Euro then we can get Greece sorted and hopefully get them back on track soon. Easy.”

To attract more people to invest, Mr Feeney has offered a sliding scale of Greek-related perks.

For example if you ‘invest’ three euros, you get a postcard of Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister. If you are feeling more generous a 5,000 euro donation will get you a week’s holiday in Athens.

Mr Feeney said if the 1.6bn euro target is not reached – the sum Greece needs to repay to the International Monetary Fund – all money will be refunded.

He added: “I’m not just making a statement, this is a real attempt to do something.

“But at the very least it’s important to raise the issue of the plight of the Greek people at this time. Not just the profiles of politicians.

“We can help our Greek cousins by buying wonderful Greek produce such as feta, olives, wine and more. And maybe considering Greece as a holiday destination.

“That’s part of the idea behind each of the perks on the crowdfunding page. Trade will help Greece and the Greek people out of their current situation.”

So far, contributions have come from nearly 80,000 people, with the UK and Germany leading the way.

There are, however, opponents to Mr Feeney’s campaign, such as published online in Slate Magazine.