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    Egyptian Billionaire Offers to Buy Mediterranean Island to House Refugees

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    Amid ongoing public shock over the handling of the European refugee crisis, an Egyptian billionaire has put forward a radical idea to help those in danger, suggesting that he would like to buy an island in the Mediterranean to help house refugees fleeing conflict and poverty.

    Telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris took to Twitter to share his "crazy idea", which consisted of purchasing an uninhabited island off the coast of Italy or Greece and turning it into a safe zone for refugees.

    When asked if his idea was realistic, Mr Sawiris told AFP: "Of course it's feasible."

    "You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees."

    Despite acknowledging that his radical idea may encounter some problems, the Egyptian said something needed to be done to help those escaping war-torn and poverty-stricken countries in the Middle East and Africa, calling on the international community to treat refugees like "human beings".

    "The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle."

    If the idea were to be taken up by one of the Mediterranean countries, Sawiris said there would be "temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals".

    "And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back," he added.

    More than 2,300 people have died at sea trying to reach Europe since January, with many of those coming from Syria, where 4 million people have fled since the outbreak of the country’s civil war in 2011.

    While the stories of deaths have been filling media headlines for months, the confronting pictures of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi lying dead on a beach in Turkey sparked many into action, with countries like the UK back flipping on their previous stance and agreeing to take in more Syrian refugees.

    In addition to this, officials in Berlin and Paris have joined forcing calling for a minimum quota system to be introduced to ensure that all EU countries take their fair share of refugees.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
    Tags:
    Middle East, island, immigrants, asylum, refugees, migrant crisis, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Europe, Syria
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