Greeks may be voting on austerity but their choice will usher in a new phase in Hellenism’s turbulent history.
A British shoe salesman who launched an online crowdfunding drive to bail out Greece has raised more than 500,000 euros in two days.
Thom Feeney, 29, of London, hopes to raise the money for Greece to meet its IMF debt repayment.
His campaign, on crowdfunding website IndieGogo, caused such “overwhelming worldwide interest” that it caused the site to crash in a day, the site told the AFP news agency.
More than 34,000 people have donated to the project, called Greek Bailout Fund, so far.
In a statement on the website, Feeney said “all this dithering over Greece is getting boring”.
“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?”
Feeney said the Greeks needed to raise 1.6bn euros for its IMF payment due on June 30.
“It might seem a lot but it’s just over 3 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.”
The AFP reported the bulk of donations in the first 24 hours came from Britain, which is not a eurozone member, and Germany, which has taken a hard official line on Greece’s debt repayments.
Should the project be successful, donors would receive perks ranging from a postcard of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a feta and olive salad or a Greek holiday for two, depending on the size of the contribution.
Initially, there was a small Greek island on offer for anyone who stumped up the full total, but IndieGoGo asked Feeney to remove the offer as the Greek government had not agreed to it.
The Greece campaign is Feeney’s first crowd-funding drive.
Under IndieGoGo’s terms, donations would be refunded if the target is not reached within seven days.