Egypt billionare offers to buy Med island for refugees

Naguib-SawirisEgyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy and develop it to help hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from Syria and other conflicts.

The telecoms tycoon first announced the initiative on Twitter.

“Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” he wrote.

More than 2,300 people have died at sea trying to reach Europe since January, many of them Syrians who fled their country’s four-and-a-half year conflict.

Sawiris said in a television interview that he would approach the governments of Greece and Italy about his plan.

Asked by AFP whether he believed it could work, he said: “Of course it’s feasible.”

“You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees.”

Sawiris said an island off Greece or Italy could cost between $10 million and $100 million, but added the “main thing is investment in infrastructure”.

There would be “temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals.

“And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back,” said Sawiris, whose family developed the popular El Gouna resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.

He conceded such a plan could face challenges, including the likely difficulty of persuading Greece or Italy to sell an island, and figuring out jurisdiction and customs regulations.

But those who took shelter would be treated as “human beings,” he said. “The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle.”

Sawiris is the chief executive of Orascom TMT, which operates mobile telephone networks in a number of Middle Eastern and African countries plus Korea as well as underwater communications networks.

He also owns an Egyptian television channel.

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  • Ojiyovwi

    No better noble course!!!!!! This is a true son of Africa. May our ancestors grant him his very African wish to help humanity. All those shameless nations who run arround causing discords and then running home to create lucrative defence contracts cannot be allowed to participate in suchnew nations. Appropriate that this African son should ask Itlay and Greece for such island and not the big mouths. Don’t you just love the African brain!!! This is an incredible gesture from a son born of peace and love and NOT the silly and fruitless endles complaints about immigrants and ‘our country can’t take them all.. These are people!!!! These are peaple!!!! These are people!!!! The plights of these ‘immigrants is a direct cause of the big-mouths!!!!

    • Dayo cardoso

      Continue deceiving yourself.This guy is not African.I’m sure if you ask him he would not regard himself as an African. This guy is only concerned about Arabs and other middle eastern natives.
      Africans still have a long way to go.

      • Demmy22

        Last time I checked Egypt is in Africa, are you one of those people that has been brained washed to believe that you can onl be an African if you are black. Go and study the map of Africa, almost all the people fron Northern part of Africa are also Caucasian. Yes, there are pure white Africans.

  • Ojiyovwi

    I didn’t mean to deceive you and no effort at that. Whether or not ‘real Africans’ will find sancutary in this new island state, is not as important as the idea from this child of Africa. He may be white but if he says he is an African, we cannot deny nor questions his birth continent. He has come up with an workable solution to the chaos caused by Big-Mounth Europeans who hope ot benefit from lucrative defence contracts when they tell gollible Africans to hate each other for meaningless religious and ‘ethnic’ basis abd then run home to shut their borders from the chaotic stampeed from the resulting death fields. This idea is inginious and must be hated these big-mouths evil doers.

  • Ojiyovwi

    Did you see those pitiful pictures of a drowned 3-year old boy on the beach? All those nations who qued up to forment insurrection in Syria ’cause they hated Assad’s political stance on middle east na paletinian rights are responsible for the death of that 3-year old. They shoudl all go and hang their heads in shamefor their hypocracy. Their citizens were all falling over each to use the tragedy of a ‘Syrian’ 3-year old to sell their filthy papers and profit from this tragedy. OK, make your profits and eat your wealth with a clear consience.

  • Ojiyovwi

    We all will forever remember that Libya under Ghaddafi was accuesed of sponsoring terorism for his support for SA freedom fighters. I watch incommon with a whole lot of people at the double standards that never fails to play out. Support for disgruntled groups and individuals are being called humanrights activists and the beliggered leadership of the natives are declared to have lost their legitimacy over their own people. Such disgruntled groups are then given funding and political support without any supporters being castigated as sponsors of terrorism. It seems to me that those who openly support these groups should be forced by the rest of the world to then step up and address the consequences of their support for terrorists.

    I will take this ooportunity to ask who can escape the rain when we are all outside doing a rain dance? There can be no hiding from mother nature when we constantly cause offence to the gods. Assad may be bad, but it seems these hypocrates don’t stop to think if the result of their support to well fed and deluded stuges have been better. These neverdowells don’t learn and there are enough golibble fools to take the bait of trouble making. The only benefitiary in the short term are the defence industry in the trouble making hyupocrete nations who hurried run home and put up the shotters agains the fleeing innocents such as the family of this 3-year old victim of the madness and of course those who who can then proceed to stethily anahilate the palestinians who have no one in the chaotuic atmostphere to care what fait befalls them.

    These are human beings!!!! These are human beings!!!! These are human beings!!!!

  • Ojiyovwi

    Mothernature, help the world! We have sweet-tongued muderers of the innocents prowling to cause us trouble!!!

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  • amador kester

    Commendable move by this philanthropist.And this is reality time to globally test europe,,s socalled civilized christian values.It is examination time