A Yorkshireman now living in London has started an Indiegogo campaign aimed at helping the Greeks pay their debts.
Thom Feeney explains why he decided to be the one to make a difference:
"€1.6 billion is what the Greeks need. It might seem like a lot but it's only just over €3 from each European. That's about the same as half a pint in London. Or everyone in the EU just having a feta and olive salad for lunch."
He even has his own FAQ on the Indiegogo page, where he insists this isn’t a joke campaign:
"I can understand why people might take it as a joke, but Crowdfunding can really help because it's just a case of getting on and doing it. I was fed up of the Greek crisis going round in circles. While politicians are dithering, this is affecting real people," explained Feeney.
He added: "While all the posturing is going on, then it's easy for the politicians to forget that. I just thought, sod it, I'll have a crack."
So what do you get if you join the campaign? €3 gets you a postcard of current Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras sent from Greece, €6 a Greek salad, €10 a bottle of Ouzo, €25 a bottle of Greek wine, €160 a Greek foods basket while a hefty €5,000 will get you a holiday for two in Athens, although you might want to take your own spending money.
Thom did attempt to offer a small Greek island for the full amount, but was quickly taken down a peg or two by an offended Greek lady, as well as by Indiegogo, which emailed him that the Greek government had not officially agreed to this.
Unfortunately, Thom may have seriously underestimated the extent of the problem. The €1.6 billion he wants to raise is just for Greece’s next tranche payment to the IMF. He will need a few more Indiegogo campaigns to pay off all of Greece’s debts, which amount to a total of €322 billion. That’s an awful lot of Greek salads and Ouzo, Thom.
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Still it’s nice to have someone attempting to help and bring attention – in a light-hearted way – to what is an extremely complex and difficult situation for the Greek people and Europe.
The campaign has so far received backing from more than 5,000 people and has raised €77,497 with seven days to go. Our bet is that not many of the backers are German.