Egyptian Billionaire Offers To Buy Mediterranean Island To Help Refugees

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Egyptian billionaire

An Egyptian billionaire has offered to buy an Italian or Greek island to accommodate the refugees.

Naguib Sawiris says he has considered buying an island in the Mediterranean to help house refugees who are fleeing conflict and instability.

“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,” the Egyptian telecoms tycoon proposed via Twitter.

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

He has also offered to provide jobs to build housing, schools and hospitals

The Independent reports:

When asked if his idea could actually work, Mr Sawiris said: “Of course it’s feasible.”

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

Mr Sawiris, who has an estimated net worth of $2.9billion, said although the idea could be problematic, something needed to be done to help the tens of thousands of people attempting to reach Europe in search of a better life.

“The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle,” he claimed to AFP.

The billionaire’s company Orascom TMT, which operates mobile networks across some African and Middle Eastern nations, is Egypt’s largest employer.

Since the start of the year, more than 350,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean, hoping to reach Europe after suffering conflicts and poverty in their home countries. At least 2,600 have died during their journeys, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).