Egyptian billionaire wants to buy island to rehouse refugees – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Egyptian billionaire wants to buy island to rehouse refugees




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Naguib Sawiris, executive chief of a telecom company and owner of an Egyptian television channel, has offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy and use it to receive thousands of refugees fleeing from Syria and other areas in conflict.

Sawiris, who is the 10th richest man in Africa and 2nd one in Egypt, first declared his intentions via Twitter, where he sent the following message:

“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 later added in a television interview that he plans to approach the governments of the Mediterranean countries with this idea, and stated to Agence French Press (AFP) that the intention would be to use the place to create “temporary shelters to house the people, then… employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals”.

He confirmed to AFP that his intention is real and not just a tweet, and mentioned that a lot of these Mediterranean islands are deserted, and one could cost between 10 and 100 million dollars. Key obstacles for his plan, as he’s aware of, include persuading the governments to sell the island, and later on, figuring out jurisdiction and customs regulations.

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