Sawiris says he has identified two Greek islands that could be used to host Syrian refugees. He says talks would depend on whether the owners can secure approval from the Greek government. Ne also suggests setting up a joint-stock company with a capital of $100 million, to ensure that any money invested “will not be completely lost, as the asset (the island) will remain.”
Sawiris says “there is no limit” on what he is willing to spend to buy an island from Italy or Greece to provide 100,000 to 200,000 refugees with a new home. He says the new country could be called “Hope.” He says people would be free to return home at any time or stay on the island. Greek and Italian officials were not available to comment on the proposal.
It’s a very simple solution. They sell the island to me and I’ll make a temporary shelter for these people. I’ll make a small port or marina for the boats to land there. I’ll employ the people to build their own homes, their schools, a hospital, a university, a hotel. I sometimes think the politicians don’t have a heart. All I need is the permission to put these people on this island. After that I don’t need anything anymore from them. I’ll pay them for the island, I’ll provide the jobs, I’ll take care of all the logistics. I know I can do that.