George Osborne recently pledged a warning that Britain is not part of the Euro, and it could not entirely be protected by the crisis. Being interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show, he said “Whatever Greece decides, Britain is prepared. We have the plans in place for whatever the outcome is.” He then went on to say that “I don’t think anyone should be in any doubt the Greek situation has an impact on the European economy which has an impact on us. We cannot be immune from these developments.”
Certain UK businesses are already feeling a knock-on effect of this economic pinch, Leeds and Yorkshire born business Marks & Spencer have 28 stores in Greece, and their share price has fallen to 523.5p (down from 569.5p) within 14 days. Dixon Carphone, the UK company behind PC World, Dixons, Currys and Carphone warehouse, has a business called Kotsovolos. Shares in the retail Greek electrical firm fell 3% recently amid fears of the restriction on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and that it will prevent consumers buying electrical goods at the chain. It is also reported that the giant company Coca Cola has also suffered.
Meanwhile on the internet…
A lone 29 year old, York-born Thom Feeney, had an astronomical idea to single handedly solve the crisis and simultaneously set a new all-time record for an online fundraising campaign. He plans to raise €1.6bn by using the crowd fundraising website Indiegogo. Similar to the American-based fundrasing site ‘Kickstarter’, Indiegogo “empowers people to activate the global community to make ideas happen. Then, we help you spread the word.” On the website he explains his actions to “just get Greece sorted.” Sounds simple, well he seems to think so. Mr Feeney is quoted saying “All this dithering over Greece is getting boring. European ministers flexing their muscles and posturing over whether they can help the Greek people of not. Why don’t we the people just sort it instead?”
“The European Union is home to 503 million people, if we all just chip in a few Euro then we can get Greece sorted and hopefully get them back on track soon. Easy. On Wednesday 1st July I started a new job at WeWork, a provider of shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses. My job title is Associate Community Manager. WeWork have been very kind and let me do lots of interviews when I should be doing the usual paperwork and induction training! Hopefully my experience with the Greek Bailout community will help me with the community I’m about to be a part of!”
He was asked “is this a joke?” He responded by saying “No. Crowdfunding can really help because it’s just a case of getting on and doing it. I was fed up of the Greek crisis going round in circles, while politicians are dithering, this is affecting real people. While all the posturing is going on, then it’s easy for the politicians to forget that. I just thought, sod it, I’ll have a crack.”
Thom managed to raise a total of €1,930,577 with 108,654 donations in 8 days. Definitely an impressive figure, even though he ultimately fell short of his staggering goal of €1,600,000,000. The campaign was closed on 06/07/2015.
Since compiling this blog, Thom has updated his Twitter account, saying “As the Greek Bailout Fund has now ended, all contributors have been refunded. I have launched a new campaign here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/greek-crowdfund