In the latest effort to control the massive flow of refugees in Europe, Macedonia -- a small Balkan country with a population of about 2 million -- Saturday began construction of a barrier fence along its southern border with Greece, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported. The Macedonian government has said the fence is designed to direct the flow of refugees to controlled points for registration, but Macedonia and other Balkan nations reportedly have been turning away refugees for several weeks.
Refugees have held demonstrations protesting the border controls across Europe, while some of them have crossed the border separating Macedonia and Greece, which has been flooded by thousands of migrants this year from war-torn areas such as Syria and Iraq, among others. With refugees continuing to arrive, Europe’s answer to the question centered on how its member-states will relieve some of the pressure of the crisis is still to be determined in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in and around Paris Nov. 13.
One proposal to help manage the refugee crisis has come from outside government circles: One of Africa’s wealthiest men, Naguib Sawiris, proposed buying an island from either Greece or Italy to house refugees, Forbes reported. Since Sawiris posted a tweet about his plan in September, it has moved forward. He announced he would like to begin accepting public donations and create a company to start the project. The Egyptian billionaire is looking for a Greek island that can house a large number of refugees.
However, Sawiris’ plan would still face obstacles. He said he won’t accept donations for the project or establish the company until the Greek government approves his request to buy an island. The number of displaced people is also daunting: The United Nations has indicated more than 4.2 million refugees are seeking asylum, a number unseen since World War II, Forbes reported.
Sawiris said he wants the island to provide homes for between 100,000 and 200,000 refugees, Fox News reported. He said he would build a port for boats to land and give jobs to the refugees so they could build their own infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and even a university.
Many of the refugees are just passing through southern Europe, on their way to seeking asylum in Germany or Sweden. In the wake of the Paris attacks, however, fears have increased that terrorists are traveling among refugees into various regions of Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Syrian army advances against Islamic State east of Aleppo: Syria state TV https://t.co/T0DJx3Rcfh
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 28, 2015