Greece and Italy have both refused his offer to purchase an island, though both countries are inundated by the flow of refugees to southern Europe from Syria and elsewhere. So far this year, more than 184,456 people have crossed the treacherous sea, 1,357 of which did not survive or have been reported missing according to the International Organization for Migration.
Speaking to Forbes
, Sawiris says that his attempts to reach out to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have failed, leading him to develop another unconventional solution. “Any government that will give me land, that will allow me to build on this land, I will do it,” Sawiris said to Forbes; adding, “I’m actually frustrated. Because they have a problem. And someone comes and said they have a solution, and they don’t act."
When asked why he is not working to implement his plan in Egypt, Sawiris tweeted that he would need to get authorisation from the Egyptian government and that there are no jobs in Egypt.