Shipowner Peter Nomikos, initiator and founder of GDF
The age when Greek shipowners would open their treasure chests and provide gold to support the struggle for freedom may seem remote. However, Peter Nomikos, scion of a famous Santorini shipping family, is opening a new coffer, Greece Debt Free (GDF), creating a movement that will unite Greeks around the world in a joint effort aimed at eliminating the Greek debt. The aim of GDF is the repurchase of Greek bonds from the markets at a price below their face value, and the subsequent cancellation of these bonds. The endeavour began in mid-June and 2.2 million euro was collected in no time.
“We are about 16 million Greeks around the world – to take Greek debt to sustainable levels is a goal worth pursuing. In any case, this will not be the first occasion that Greeks will be helping the nation in difficult times. The GDF is not buying bonds from the Greek state, but from third parties on the international markets. In June 2012, we acquired bonds of 125 euro for each 1,000 euro owed by the state to bondholders. As such, Greece still owes 1,000 euro to GDF, although it spent only 125 euro to buy these bonds. However, GDF will have these bonds cancelled, freeing the Greek state from this obligation. It will thus have helped reduce the Greek debt by eight euro for every one euro donation. The biggest problem for Greece and the Greeks is the debt, which concerns and touches every citizen regardless of political persuasion”, said Peter Nomikos.
Among the first who bought bonds for GDF was Capital chairman Vangelis Marinakis, who bought 1.4 million euro of debt by donating 168,590 euro to GDF.
“I wanted to set an example with this action so that we all mobilize to assist our country during the difficult times we are experiencing. We Greeks are patriots and it is time to show that together we can succeed. Greece can and must go forward”, says Mr Marinakis.
Mr Nomikos’s initiative is already eliciting a response, not only from the shipping world but also from other business sectors. GDF is being promoted by many websites and media, has no employees, is fully transparent and operates in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, USA. It relies on volunteers and is subject to laws which exclude it from political influence.
At present, each Greek owes about 24,800 euro in national debt, but this is being bought and sold on the international market for about 3,000 euro. Citizens can find more information and participate in the effort by visiting the website www.greecedebtfree.org.
GDF is already very close to collaborating with mobile phone operators in order to enable every Greek to send an SMS to the value of one euro towards buying the Greek debt. Just imagine how easy and how effective something like this will be.