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Online Fund Started To Raise Money For Greece's Debt

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Greek debt crisis has been dragging on for years. One man in the U.K. has heard enough. He is trying to solve the crisis himself. NPR's Jackie Northam explains.

JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Thom Feeney, a 29-year-old Londoner, says he was fed up with the endless showdowns between Greece and its international creditors. So he started a new campaign called Greek Bailout Fund to raise 1.6 billion euros to help pay Greece's debt using an online funding website.

THOM FEENEY: The politicians of Europe and indeed around the world have been dithering over Greece for quite some time. You know, maybe it takes a guy who works in a shoe shop in London to step in and just say, you know what? Let's try and do something now.

NORTHAM: The response has been surprising.

FEENEY: Tell me about it. I woke up to 1,200 emails and 30 friend requests from Greek women. And it's gotten even crazier from there.

NORTHAM: Feeney is asking the 500 million people of Europe to pledge about 3 euros each. That's about the price of a half a pint of beer in London. For that, they'll receive a postcard of the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras.

FEENEY: For 6 euros, we'll be sending out a feta and olive salad, for 10 euros, a bottle of Ouzo, the Greek spirit, and for 25 euros, a bottle of Greek wine.

NORTHAM: For 1 million euros, Feeney says you can get all of the above plus a hug and lots of love from the Greek people. Alas, no one has gone for that offer yet. Jackie Northam, NPR News.

WERTHEIMER: As of this morning, Feeney has raised less than a million euros. That's a tiny bit shy of the 1.6 billion needed. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, geopolitics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.
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