How to Save Greece? Try a Fundraiser

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Greek Bailout Fund’ On Indiegogo Is Just As Depressing As It Sounds.

Greece is a day away from defaulting on a $1.8 billion debt that has the potential to plunge the Euro zone into economic paralysis, but have no fear; you (yes, you!) can help save the land of Ouzo and feta with this crowdfunding campaign.

But that’s all that three donors had given by Monday morning, a day after a British man named Thom Feeney set up a crowdfunding campaign on the site Indiegogo. “Why don’t we the people just sort it instead?” Feeney wrote on the site, complaining that the European ministers involved in Greek debt negotiations are “dithering” and “flexing their muscles.” “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. That’s right, an Indiegogo page is trying to raise 1.6 billion euros, or $1.8 billion, to save Greece, which will vote in a national referendum Sunday to accept or reject steep austerity measures to keep the country financially solvent. As of late Monday afternoon, more than 400 people have pledged about 7,000 euros to the “Greek Bailout Fund,” and those numbers are climbing steadily.

Unfortunately, of the 503 million members of the European Union Feeney had hoped would chip in, only 30 at the time of publication had bothered to donate, raising a mere €712 of the €1,600,000,000 owed. Greece has been negotiating with creditors for months to extend a bailout program and release a 7.2 billion euro ($8.03 billion) tranche of funds that the country could use to pay off its debts. Easy.” He says he can clear the whole mess up with a contribution of just over three euros 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.” Incentives for donors include a postcard with an image Alex Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, for a donation of three euros, and a Greek feta and olive salad for six euros. Only the finest in Greek products, from ouzo to olives. (As the prize for donating €1.6 billion suggests — your very own island — this isn’t an officially sanctioned project.) Crowdsourcing won’t actually solve the deepening cracks in Greece’s economy, but at this point, it’s not clear what can.

The European Central Bank cut off emergency aid to Greek banks this weekend, so without these new, strict limits, panicked account holders would have been fighting over what little cash was available — even more than they already are. European stock markets have already taken a hit thanks to uncertainty about the future, and Greece’s economy would still be depressed, at least in the short term. It’s unclear how the money would be delivered to Greece should it reach its goal, but honestly we don’t think they’re going to have that problem. And it could deepen political divides between countries with stronger economies, such as Germany, and those with lest robust ones, like Italy and Spain. Tsprias, whose party won a recent election on a wave of dissatisfaction over deep economic cuts, called the proposed deal a “blackmail ultimatum” for the country that would lead to “a strict and humiliating austerity…with no end in sight.” Greece’s economy has been in trouble for years, with sky-high unemployment — a full 50% of people under 25 don’t have jobs — and widespread poverty.

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