Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I have a better idea

Some of this blog's readers would have seen one of the loopiest ideas in connection with the Greek crisis (going on for several years if not decades), the idea of crowdfunding. This amounts to a call to the people of Europe or European Union (which it is remains unclear) to contribute a small amount in order to rescue the Greek people from the mess they and their politicians have landed themselves in.

Thom Feeney, the onlie begetter of this idea explains it all here. The article is well worth reading in its entirety but here are a few choice quotes:
So, sat at the table after dinner, I started a crowdfunding campaign to try to rescue the Greek economy. Some basic maths told me that I only needed the entire population of Europe to donate €3.19 (£2.26) to reach the amount of the bailout fund. I included some nice perks for donating, including a Greek salad and holiday in Athens for two, and set up a page on IndieGoGo and a Twitter account.
To start with, someone ought to have pointed out to Mr Feeney that the population of "Europe", that is the EU as well as others through the IMF have already donated a good deal more than €3.19 to Greece and not a lot has been solved.

Secondly, somebody should have asked him who was going to pay for all the goodies that donors will receive (even on the assumption that a holiday in Athens for two would not be particularly expensive at the moment) and who will pay the people who will be organizing the various perks and their delivery.

Thirdly, I hope somebody reminded him that on past experience, even if he raises the required money (over and above the expense mentioned) and gets it to the Greek people, somehow by-passing the government and its many many minions, he will have to do it all over again in about six months' time, maybe sooner.
I set up the crowdfunding campaign to support the Greek bailout because I was fed up with the dithering of our politicians. Every time a solution to bail out Greece is delayed, it’s a chance for politicians to posture and display their power, but during this time the real effect is on the people of Greece.

I wondered, could the people of Europe just have a crack at fixing this? Less talk, more direct action. If we want to sort it, let’s JFDI (just effing do it)! On Tuesday, between leaving for work and returning home, the crowdfunding page had raised over €200,000 in around six hours, which was incredible. This isn’t just about raising the cash, though. In providing the perks, we would be stimulating the Greek economy through trade – buying Greek products and employing Greeks to source and send the perks out.

The way to help a struggling economy is by investment and stimulus – not austerity and cuts. This crowdfunding is a reaction to the bullying of the Greek people by European politicians, but it could easily be about British politicians bullying the people of the north of England, Scotland and Wales. I want the people of Europe to realise that there is another option to austerity, despite what David Cameron and Angela Merkel tell you.

The reaction has been tremendous, I’ve received thousands of goodwill message and as I write almost €630,000 has been pledged by more than 38,000 donors. Many Greek people are messaging me to say how overjoyed they are to hear that real people around Europe care about them. It must be hard when you think the rest of the continent is against you.
I trust Mr Feeney has already invested in the Greek economy, perhaps went on holiday there every year since the crisis began and bought many goodies that come from that country. Otherwise, his slightly off-beam lectures on economic reality are pointless.

Anyway, the truth is that €630,000 will get us nowhere and if Greece wants to get out of the mess it is in (I am sure it does) there will have to be some hard economic thinking in that country. Lots of weepy crowd-funding and hand-outs will get us nowhere.

Having said that, I may remind everyone that I do have a much better idea and that, too, involves public fund raising or, as it is known nowadays, crowd-funding. Let us put together the money needed to buy the remaining Parthenon Marbles and bring them over to the British Museum. About a third of the original are no longer in existence but at least two thirds will be reunited and well looked after. Now that is something I am happy to contribute to. As to Greek salad (something I can and do make) or signed whatever from Tsipras - pfft. And that goes for that holiday in smog-ridden Athens. Let us buy the Pathenon Marbles.


  1. backofanenvelopeJuly 2, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    We could buy them out of the overseas aid budget!

  2. Good idea Helen. Mme Lagarde seems to be on the same line of thought:

    Strip 1

    Strip 2

    Strip 3



  3. The first link should have been this one: