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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Denmark boosts cash incentive to immigrants to return home

Article from Deutsche Welle

The Danish government will increase the amount of money it offers to immigrants to resettle in their country of origin, officials announced on Monday.

Immigrants who voluntarily leave Denmark for good will now receive a payout of 100,000 kroner (13,450 euros, or $20,130 ), up from the 11,000 kroner offered since the financial-incentive plan was introduced in 1997.

"We thought it was important to substantially increase this aid so that immigrants who want to return home because they are not able to adapt to Danish society have a strong financial basis to start a new life," foreign affairs spokesman Soeren Espersen of the far-right Danish People's Party (DPP) told AFP.

The offer is aimed at immigrants and refugees who "cannot or do not want to integrate into Danish society," the head of the DPP's parliamentary group, Kristian Tuelesen Dahl, told reporters on Sunday.

The center-right minority government reached an agreement on the financial incentive with the far-right DPP as part of its 2010 budget negotiations.

In addition, 20 million kroner will be set aside for city councils in charge of integrating immigrants to "motivate" foreigners to return to their homelands.

Opposition parties are said to be shocked by the news, and fear it sends the message that foreigners are not welcome in Denmark.

Since 1997, around 2,524 immigrants have voluntarily repatriated to their home countries, according to Denmark's refugee, immigrant and integration ministry. Most of them were from the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia and Turkey.

Immigrants account for about 7.3 percent of Denmark's population of 5.5 million.,,4875040,00.html


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