Billionaire's 'crazy idea': Buy an island for refugees

  • 08/09/2015
Naguib Sawiris (Reuters)
Naguib Sawiris (Reuters)

An Egyptian billionaire has offered to buy an entire island to home the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war in the Middle East.

Naguib Sawiris has no doubt his idea will work because there are dozens of deserted islands that could accommodate the numbers.

"Today, two [letters] went out to the Prime Minister of Italy and the Prime Minister of Greece, a copy of these letters went to their embassies today. All that I'm asking is find me an island, I'll make the financial payments for it. I'll pay for it. All that you need to do is allow me to direct 50 or 100,000 refugees to this island. The rest is mine – I'll do the rest."

The businessman, worth about US$3 billion, owns an Egyptian television station and a mobile telephone network.

On Twitter, Mr Sawiris acknowledged it was a "crazy idea".

If gifted an island, he plans to name it after Aylan Kurdi, the young Syrian boy whose body was photographed lying on a Turkish beach.

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