CAIRO: Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy a Greek or Italian island for unregistered migrants from Middle East and North Africa, who are eyeing European countries.
“Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll declare its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” Sawiris posted Wednesday on his Twitter account.
“Crazy idea .. Maybe but at least temporary until they can return to their countries ??!!,” he added.
Greece suffers from a financial crisis and has very vast abandoned islands, so illegal migration could be solved in case the government of those countries paid him an island accommodates the number of unregistered migrants, he told Momken (possible) talk show on CBC channel Wednesday.
“We will go to this island and build a very big city and provide those people (migrants) works to build the island; To build schools, universities, hospitals, and clubs; to build a new city for temporary pending the problems of their country be solved,” he said.
The billionaire noted that Sawiris family has built the tourism resort of Hurghada al-Gouna, which was a desert area and where now 32,000 people are living, saying “It is not a difficult matter.”
Sawiris said that he will send the Prime Ministers of Italy and Greece letters on his proposal.
Coincidently, Italy deported Thursday 52 Egyptians back to their home over violating Italian residency rules and illegal migration, according to a statement from the Cairo International Airport. On Aug. 27, Cairo Airport received 23 Egyptians deported from Italy over attempted trespassing into its territories. A total of 34 Egyptians were deported from Italy for violating the residency law last week.
Hundreds of asylum seekers of Middle East and North Africa, particularly from Egypt Syria, Iraq and Libya, illegally migrate via the Mediterranean seat to Italy or Greece as gates for other European countries.
Due to the influx of migrants to European countries, particularly amid measures taken by Hungary’s Budapest, Belgium and Hungary are seeking to erect a fence along parts of their borders to stop the wave of migration, Reuters reported.