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New bailout fund for Greece raises €1,7 million

UK citizen Thom Feeney decided to start a fundraiser in a bid to help Greece out of its financial crisis.

FILE: Greece is in the meantime preparing for tomorrow’s referendum on cash reforms the debt crisis. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - A new bailout fund for Greece, started by a well-meaning Brit, has raised 1,7 million euros in less than a week.

The amount totals over R24 million.

Last week, Thom Feeney decided to start a fundraiser on the crowd-funding website, Indiegogo, in a bid to help Greece out of its financial crisis.

Indiegogo's blog states the fund has received more than 70,000 backers which is the most in the website's history.

The UK citizen began his mission to lend a hand to Greece last week with a simple post on his Facebook page.

It states he has decided to solve the Greek Debt Crisis and all he needs is for everyone in the European Union (EU) to buy a Feta and Olive salad via the CrowdFunding campaign.

Feeney's fund allows people to donate various amounts of money in exchange for various Greek items.

Three euros buys a postcard, while 5,000 euros can score one a holiday for two to Athens.

Although the fund may not be able to solve Greece's debt to the International Monetary Fund, it's getting thousands of EU citizens to club together for what they believe is a good cause.

SUNDAY'S VOTE

Meanwhile, as Greece prepares for tomorrow's referendum on cash reforms the debt crisis continues to deepen with supermarkets earlier saying supplies could begin to run short.

Drug makers are also warned of shortages in life saving medicines.

Ordinary citizens voiced concerns; a man said he does not have access to his money.

The head of Athen's general hospital said essential medical supplies could run out within one week.

At the same time, tens of thousands of Greeks took to the streets on Friday in rival rallies that laid bare the deep divide heading into a referendum that may decide the country's future in Europe's single currency.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, elected in January on a promise to end years of austerity, urged people packing Syntagma square in central Athens to spurn the tough terms of an aid deal offered by international creditors to keep the country afloat.

His European partners say a 'No' vote will jeopardise Greece's membership of the euro.

Tsipras said they are bluffing, fearing the fallout for Europe and the global economy. A 'Yes' vote may bring him down, ushering in a new period of political instability for a country reeling from five days of shuttered banks and rationed cash withdrawals.

Framing Sunday's ballot as a battle for democracy, freedom and European values, the 40-year-old left-wing leader told Greeks to "turn your backs on those who terrorise you daily".

"On Sunday, we are not just deciding that we are staying in Europe, but that we are deciding to live with dignity in Europe," he told the crowd of at least 50,000.

His opponents accused Tsipras of gambling Greece's future on a rapid-fire plebiscite that a major European rights watchdog said falls short of international standards of fairness.