Shocked by the fate and treatment of refugees who risk crossing thousands of miles from war zones to reach the EU, an Egyptian billionaire has put forward an unusual offer: He wants to buy an Italian or Greek island to care for the migrants.
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 television industry billionaire Naguib Sawiris proposed via Twitter.
It is not just empty words: Sawis insists he is ready to make concrete proposals to Rome and Athens.
“You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees,” the billionaire told AFP, calling the idea “feasible.”
But the man acknowledged potential legal challenges to his project which could include potential jurisdiction and customs regulation problems.
By Sawis’ estimates an island could cost between $10 million and $100 million, but before the project turns into a blooming utopia, more investment will be required to build the correct infrastructure to care for those arriving.