A solution for the refugees?

Naguib Sawiris

Naguib Sawiris
Naguib Sawiris

An Egyptian Telecoms billionaire has proposed buying a Mediterranean island to shelter refugees fleeing from Syria and other countries. 

Naguib Sawiris, who is believed to be worth $2.9billion, announced his idea on Twitter this week. 

He tweeted: “Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country.”

He added: “Crazy idea… Maybe but at least temporary until they can return to their countries??!!” 

Speaking to AFP later, he said: “Of course it’s feasible. You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees.” 

He estimated an island off Greece of Italy could cost between $10-$100million but stressed “the main thing is investment in infrastructure.”

Sawiris admitted the plan has its challenges – including whether Greece or Italy could be persuaded to sell an island, as well as arranging jurisdiction and customs regulations. 

But he insisted refugees who came to it would be treated as “human beings”, complaining: “The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle.” 

Speaking to CBC on Wednesday he said: “No sane person with integrity would look at the news and decide not to take action.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/09/04/egyptian-billionaire-naguib-sawiris-mediterranean-island-refugees_n_8087188.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Sounds a simple idea, but the majority of refugees want to remain in their own country.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1954/refugees-lec...

The above link is to a lecture given in 1955, when Europe itself was just getting over its own internal wars, [yes it was a global conflict] but Europe had millions [not 100's of 1000's] of displaced people.

People who had fled the conflict had found that in some cases their own countries had ceased to exist, or were under the control of the communist state. Europe was devided by a fence bettween Communist controlled east and a capitalist controlled west.

Whole cities, had been devestated, see Hamburg or Dresden, Coventry or Liverpool. Leningrad etc, to mention but a few. People were living in horric conditions [by todays european standards] But they managed to pull through and resolve their problems. 

How by agreeing to talk instead of more fighting, Europe had seen millions of people killed in two world wars. Had seen Europe devestated, to a point when it was literally on its knees.

The Middle East is now approaching the same situation as Europe was 60+ years ago. Until people start to talk, stop fighting things will never change, apart from getting much, much worse.

Displaced people living in refugee camps, with little or no hope, are ripe for indoctrination. Indoctrination by any side, or faction. This is dangerous and can only lead to more violence [the i hit you, you hit me back, then i retaliate and on and on it goes] This is not new, it's just that the weapons available to be used by different factions are more readily available, The sort of weapons being used were at one time only available to recognised governments [who were accountable]

It appears that if you have a grievence and have access to money. get some weapons and try to overthrow the established government. The ballot box, or political diplomacy takes too long. If you take time to think, if peace broke out and the conflict stopped it will take many years to get Syria, or Libya [as example's] back to where they were before these groups decided to overthrow legitimate governments [bad regimes they may have been]  

So some simple questions to these groups. Just what have you achieved? If you do win and become the legitimate government. How do you intend to rebuild the country you now govern? What will your responce be if a different group opposes your aims in a similar manner to that which you used?

 

 

I agree.

Putting them on an abandoned island also smacks of "we dont want to address this issue, so lets put it somewhere else". The islands will eventually run out of space, but without tackling the main problems that caused the crisis, it will not be a solution.

These places need to be stabilised and normal life allowed to resume.

That is what will stop the refugees, not any measures like building an island, erecting border fences or making it harder for them to move - when the choice is between chaos/destruction and dificulty in attaining security, the latter option will be chosen every time.

It should tell the leaders of our countries that foreign adventures are not sandboxes and even if the regimes cannot strike back, there is an effect that will reach us, like this refugee crisis.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

I agree.

Putting them on an abandoned island also smacks of "we dont want to address this issue, so lets put it somewhere else". The islands will eventually run out of space, but without tackling the main problems that caused the crisis, it will not be a solution.

Totaly agree, a bit like sweeping your rubbish under the carpet. I know that you are not a fan of David Cameron, but giving funds to Jordon, Lebanon etc to help fund the refugee camps, whilst only a short term solution. Offering places to families who wish to resettle in the UK is reasonable, also these families have shown discipline in staying in the camps.

http://www.abeldanger.net/2015/01/last-message-from-colonel-muummar.html

If you read the above link, it more or less sums up what would happen, and as happened. I am only grateful that we managed to stop our leaders doing to Syria, what they did to Libya.

Not known to many people, Libya, vetted sub-Sahara migrants, before allowing some of them to pass safely in controllable numbers to Italy.

All you or i can do is let our feelings be known to our elected leaders in the hope that it might restrain them from anymore overseas adventures.

It should tell the leaders of our countries that foreign adventures are not sandboxes and even if the regimes cannot strike back, there is an effect that will reach us, like this refugee crisis.

Your last comment is very apt, and should be learnt by all, "For every action there is always apposed an equal reaction." Isaac Newton. 17th century.

 

 

As more and more countries close their borders. The EU leaders talk and yet more bribes go to Erdogan and the refugee crisis grows. The people of the EU are starting to demand more action on the exodus of Migrants.

Just a thought based on the original article.

Several of the Greek Islands close to the Turkish mainland appear to be overrun [this may or not be Turkey's way of reclaiming sovereignty] What if several of these island were to be militarised and the Greek inhabitants offered the chance to move to the Greek mainland.

One Island could be used to house the Families, whilst another house single males. This could serve several purposes.

1] Segregate families from single unacompanied males, whilst still allowing family members to remain with families if ties are proven.

2] The single males [as would families] would be processed, background. medical history, nationality etc.

3] Migrants held up in limbo at EU borders could be sent to these islands for proccessing.

4] Migrants found within the EU without the proper paperwork could also be sent to these islands for processing.

5] Economic Migrants could be repatriated from whence they came. Proven asylum seekers could then be allowed to enter the EU and treated accordingly. As the Island are under military control order could be maintained. Trouble makers, possible terrorists could be dealt with.

6] Lastly, instead of Greece having to pay for all this, the cost [in money terms] and also [manpower] could be shared accross the EU. 

 

 

That sounds like a later form of Guantanamo bay to me - people will be stuck in limbo for long periods of time, maybe have the best years of their lives ruined.

I doubt the other countries would help Greece. Its not been how the Europeans have operated to date.

I would also guess that the residents of those islands will not want to leave.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

As i said "Just a thought based on the original article"

I don't know the answer, but some countries are building fences. What's next a security wall like in Israel, or the wall/iron curtain bettween East and West? with watch towers and mine fields?

I'm joking, but that is what separated East and West in the Cold War.

Admittedly the best solution is for the Syrian civil war to be over. But what about Libya, Afghanistan and Africans from the sub-sahara?

Then there are two questions; 1] what do we do with migrants [economic, asylum, legal or not] who will not abide by western laws? and 2] When these conflicts are over how do we return these migrants to their own countries?

Plus the Elephant in the room. Is Turkey encouraging the refugees living in Turkey to move to the west? Or maybe the western politicians instead of paying bribes to Turkey should say.

"As all these migrants are coming from Turkey seeking shelter and work, we should reduce the EU aid budget to Turkey, close down all the European plants in Turkey. Relocate them in the EU to provide work for the migrants that have left Turkey. As for the visa free entrance to the EU. No way until the Middle East is bck to normal."

I doubt the other countries would help Greece. Its not been how the Europeans have operated to date.

Too true, when push comes to shove Countries will start to act individualy. Which will be the first chink in the EU Collective. 

As for  Guantamo Bay, it does sound a bit like that. but the question still remains. How do you control and pay for the influx of migrants? A quota system to disperse the migrants appears to be a non starter? An EU fund to house the Migrants, rather then let Greece [already broke] pay for the costs. Maybe a levy of £100 for every EU citizen, deducted from the wages and benefits for a starter. Plus a levy on every employer in the EU, say 1% of their turnover.

I can imagine the furore if that was to be done, yes we pay for it [indirectly] but if it was to be made more transparant.

 

One of or two of my favourite films are Escape from New York and Escape from LA.