Naguib Sawiris, a TV mogul and Egyptian billionaire is in talks to buy two Greek islands to be used to host refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of fleeing Syrian refugees are creating international havoc as their exodus meets with opposition in transit or in destination countries. The political, cultural, and humanitarian maelstrom has leaders scratching their heads for an acceptable solution.

The Syrian War began in the early spring of 2011 and has become bloodier as it progresses. President Bashar al-Assad’s government has responded to uprisings with violent crackdowns and military offensives.

But such punitive measures have only encouraged the formation of opposition groups like the free Syrian Army (2011), the Islamic Front (2013), Hezbollah (joined the Syrian Army in 2013), and the jihadist militant group the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (2013).

Today the main belligerents are made up of dozens of groups under four banners: The government (NFP), the Opposition (SRCC), ISIL, and Rojava.

 

Since January more than 2300 people have died at sea while trying to reach Europe. Those who reach safety are meeting with ever great hostility from residents. People fear the fabric of their society is being ripped apart by the waves of immigrants and the cultural attitudes they bring with them.

 

Earlier this month Mr Sawiris announced his intention to buy an island to “host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country.”

On Monday the tycoon released a statement saying he had “identified two privately owned Greek islands that constitute a good opportunity for the project.

“We have corresponded with the owners and expressed our interest to go into negotiation with them.”

UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, has offered to co-operate on the project should it go ahead. They estimate the acquisition and basic infrastructure required to start the project will cost around $100 million (90 million euros).

Mr Sawiris appears ready to accept the price.

He is the CEO of Orascom TMT, operators of a mobile telephone network spread throughout the Middle Eastern, Africa, and Korea.

He is also owner of a major Egyptian television channel.

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