Geopolitics

French Intellectuals Try Crowdfunding To Save Greece

With scant help common from Frankfurt, a group of French intellectuals is calling for online donations to help the Greek people. Desperate times indeed.

Helping out Greece, one backer at a time?
Helping out Greece, one backer at a time?
Pia Duvigneau

PARIS — While many of us are busy watching, bewildered, as Europe abandons the people of Greece, some have decided to take matters into their own hands and actually do something.

Interdemos (Greek for "between people") a group of seven French intellectuals is calling for online donations via the French crowdfunding platform KissKissBankBank that allows all, old and the young, rich and poor, to finance creative and innovative projects.

Following the lead of noted French Revolution historian Sophie Wahnich, the group of seven academics, filmmakers and artists — and more generally, those who "believe in the impossible" as Wahnich puts it — are inviting people to break their piggy bank and pitch in.

They're not completely delusional: The goal is not to reimburse the totality of the Greek debt (320 billion euros), but to collect 300,000 euros by April 6.

Fundraising as public shaming

Their mission is meant to be a political symbol, but it has actually more tangible humanitarian consequences: The donations collected will go to the Greek initiative Solidarity4All, which aims at providing access to food, education and healthcare for the most destitute.

"The Greek people voted and asked for a different kind of life," reminds Wahnich, calling the European Union's decision to leave Greeks to fend for themselves "shameful."

Another member of the group, writer Marie Cosnay, says the crowdfunding is a form of political action. "We're also doing this for ourselves. Giving our money to the Greeks is also a way of refusing the authoritarian policies of the ECB (European Central Bank) and offering an alternative solution to those who suffer from those policies."

And since demonstrating was clearly not enough, "money is the only solution left," Cosnay adds.

At the time of this writing, the KissKissBankBank crowdfunding campaign called "De peuple à peuple" ("From people to people") has collected more than 109,000 euros. You still have four days to participate, in case you too "believe in the impossible."

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