'Sell me an island!' Egyptian billionaire proposes buying Mediterranean island for refugees
"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," Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris tweeted. (Twitter)
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An Egyptian telecommunications billionaire has suggested he buy an island in the Mediterranean to shelter refugees fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East.
Naguib Sawiris, who owns Egyptian firm Orascom, posted on Twitter Tuesday an offer to the governments of Italy and Greece, The Independent reported.
"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," Sawiris tweeted.
Sawiris, whose net worth is $2.9 billion, said the idea needed some fine-tuning, but the urgency of the refugee crisis was a call to duty.
"No sane person with integrity would look at the news and decide not to take action," Sawiris told CBC.
Wired UK reported that in a second tweet Sawiris stated the solution does not need to be permanent for the refugees who at present are in dire need of a safe shelter until the violence in Syria, Iraq and other countries subside and they are able to go home.
More than 300,000 refugees have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea this year, and it is estimated around 2,500 have died in their attempts to flee conflict zones.
Sawiris said his idea is feasible and that there are dozens of islands that could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean.