Denmark ups cash incentives for immigrants to go

The Danish government is now offering nearly EUR 14,000 for immigrants to return home if they are ‘unable or unwilling’ to assimilate.

The move has proved controversial, as critics have said that the wrong message is being sent to foreign residents in Denmark. Meanwhile, the current right-of-centre government is pushing forward with the plan as part of its ongoing efforts to tighten the country’s immigration policy.

Soeren Espersen, spokesman for the Right-wing Danish People’s party said, “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.”

The new figure is nearly ten times the amount previously offered under the programme, which has been in place since 1997. It came as part of an agreement between the government and DDP heads in last year’s budget. Some DKK 20 million in additional funding is also included and will go to aid local councils for related encouragement efforts.

Since the scheme began in the late 1990s, more than 2,500 foreigners, primarily from Iraq, Turkey, Somalia, Lebanon, Iran and the former Yugoslavia, have chosen to repatriate themselves from Danish soil, according to the country’s ministry of refugees, immigrants and integration.

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