The crowdfunding campaign launched to rescue the Greek economy is close to 2 million euros.
29-year-old British shoe shop worker, Thom Feeney launched the website hosted by the Indiegogo funding platform on Sunday, with the aim of collecting 3 euro from every one of the 503-million residents of the European Union.
Over 80,000 people have contributed to the campaign since it launched on June 28, and by Feeney’s reckoning, if each of the EU’s 503 million citizens did the same, the target would be reached. Feeney also said that if the campaign is not a success, the money would be returned to the donors.
The initiative has been so popular that host site temporarily crashed as it struggled to cope with the numbers of people trying to donate.
While attempts at crowdfunding the Greek bailout might not work, it sends an important message.
Donations are still coming in, even though Greece already officially defaulted on the repayment of the loan.
So far the fund has raised 1,740,959 euros ($1,934,901), with most people opting for the 3 euro ($3.3) donation that gains a postcard of Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras in return, sent from Greece.
At the time of publication, five people had donated 5,000 euros ($5,557), for which they got a holiday in Greece.
Cash running short in Greece
Despite the donations, it seems unlikely the campaign will succeed, economists agreed.
A strong signal
When asked whether the bailout fund would emerge victorious, economist Robert Kahn, a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations gave Al Jazeera a resounding “No”.
“He’s doing okay, but no, it couldn’t work,” Khan said.
“It’s not going to raise enough money, that’s the real reason. I was thinking about this though, there’s some history where in crises some countries have benefited from the support of private citizens abroad,” Khan went on.
“The reality is though, that really the only path forward for Greece in the eurozone, if indeed they should be in the eurozone, involves some pretty tough policy moves and a lot of financing and debt relief. I am not convinced it is going to make much of a difference. It is more of a political statement,” concluded Kahn.
That political statement comes at a volatile time for the people of Greece, who on Sunday are voting on what many see to be the country’s future in the EU.
If the “No” vote wins and Greece rejects the terms of the bailout outlined by the IMF and the European Central Bank, many will see it as a move towards the infamous “Grexit”.
A “Yes” vote will effectively spell the end of Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who on Thursday told Bloomberg: “I prefer to cut my arm off rather than sign an agreement without debt restructuring.”
“For example in 1997/98 in Korea, money flowed out from Korea to support children and families, but when the crisis hit, that reversed – it was a patriotic return. That was a material part of their adjustment,” explained the economist.
“It’s not quite the same thing we are talking about here, but there are instances when you have this willingness to put money up for a country in distress and it can make a material difference, I am not averse to it as a principal,” Kahn said.
Kahn told Al Jazeera that even though the campaign was unlikely to be successful in its ultimate goal – it was sending a strong message.
“It is a signal of support and that there is help there,” he said.
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