Egyptian Businessman Offers to Buy Mediterranean Island to House and Employ Migrants


An Egyptian billionaire has appealed to the governments of Italy and Greece to sell him a Mediterranean island so that he can house the migrants fleeing the Middle East and give them jobs. He plans to use the island as a temporary fix until a long term solution can be found.

Naguib Sawiris, describes himself on Twitter as the “Founding Member of Al Masreyeen Al Ahrrar political party,” and a “Freedom fighter, tired but strong!” adding, “In God I trust…..We shall prevail !!”

On Tuesday he took to his Twitter account to post “Greece or Italy sell me an island,ill (sic) call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country.” “Crazy idea .. Maybe but at least temporary until they can return to their countries”

Sawiris, 61, made his fortune through Orsacom Telecom Holding, an offshoot of his family’s Orsacom Holdings, one of Egypt’s largest conglomerates and the country’s biggest private sector employer. He’s now worth in excess of $3 billion, giving him ample resources for the $10-$100 million estimated cost of an island.

But in an interview with AFP he said the “main thing is investment in infrastructure”. The Island would require “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”

Asked whether he really 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.”

Those who came to the island would be treated as “human beings,” he said, adding. “The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle.”

Sawiri has responded to questions by fellow twitter users on whether the plan was feasible. In response to a question on why he didn’t enact the plan in his home region of Egypt, he said that permission would be required from the government.



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