Somebody Launched a Crowdfunding Campaign for Greece's 1.6 Billion Euro Debt
Go big or go home, right? That seems to be the mantra at the Greek Bailout Fund page on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The campaign, started by a 29-year-old Brit named Thom Feeney, popped up two days ago, seemingly as a good-natured way to lend a hand to Greece, which yesterday announced it was unable to make its scheduled 1.8-billion-euro International Monetary Fund loan payment.
"All this dithering over Greece is getting boring," reads the campaign's mission statement. "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."
Admirable, yes. Easy? Not so much. A commenter on the site noted that the campaign, which has six days remaining to reach its lofty goal, would need to raise 2,645.50 euros per second in order to hit 1.6 billion in the allotted time. That's some daunting math, though with killer perks—among them a Greek feta and olive salad for a 6 euro donation, a Greek holiday for two for a 5,000 euro donation (one of 1000 claimed!) and a (since rescinded) private Greek island for a full 1.6 billion euro donation—maybe there's an outside shot.
As of this writing, a whopping 47,853 benevolent souls had donated, to the tune of 806,960 euros—a sizable amount by most campaign standards, but not enough to register even a single percentage point on the campaign's progress bar. And while it's more than a longshot the campaign ever hits its goal, Feeney points out in the campaign's FAQ section that no, it's not a joke.
"I’m not just making a statement, this is a real attempt to do something," Feeney writes. "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."
And raise the issue it has. On Tuesday, the campaign blew up, generating more than 65,000 tweets and getting covered by everyone from the Brisbane Times to the Washington Post to BBC News to India.com. At one point, the Greek Bailout Fund campaign page crashed due to the surge in traffic.
Don't worry—it's back up now. Better get your 10 euro bottle of ouzo before it's too late.