‘By the people for the people’: British man collects €1.80mn in 8 days to help Greece
Thom Feeney, the founder of crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo, was able to collect more than €1.80 million ($1.98 million) by Sunday – the day Greeks went to vote on the EU’s proposed bailout deal and austerity measures.
At the time of publication a total of 105,629 people from across Europe raised the €1,872,137 in eight days. “We’ve so far raised 1.8 million euros, I’ve had thousands and thousands of messages of support on the funding page and quite a lot from Greek people and people across the world on twitter as well,” Feeney told RT.
The inspiration behind the campaign was political indifference to the Greek people. “[There were] constant delays of the politicians in Europe, I thought that in this time then the real people that are being affected are the Greek people themselves so I just thought, you know what, I’ll crack on and have a go at getting on with this myself,” Feeney said.
When put into perspective the goal did not seem that far out of reach – €3 ($3.31) per every person living in Europe.
“There’s 500 million people in Europe and that equated to just €3.19 ($3.52) each – so I thought for round about the same price as a cup of coffee in London, then we might be able to raise all that money,” Feeney stated.
The campaign was embraced by the public, with more than 100,000 people donating, mostly from Britain and Germany, the two EU member states that have taken a tough stance on Greece’s debt negotiations.
In the first few days, the campaign generated so much traffic that it overwhelmed the IndieGoGo servers, crashing the website.
Feeney added that as a thank you from the Greek people, he has been awarded honorary Greek citizenship. “[It] is kind of bizarre but it’s lovely. I mean it’s a case of it’s been ordinary people, something by the people for the people."
On Sunday, the Greek people voted in a referendum on whether to accept a new bailout package with all of its austerity measures from the Troika of lenders (ECB, EC, IMF).
With almost 90 percent of the votes counted, over 61 percent of Greeks have voted “No” in the referendum, dealing the terms of the bailout deal and austerity measures, according to the Interior Ministry.
Following the vote, thousands of people took to Syntagma square in front of the Greek parliament in Athens to celebrate the decision.