Denmark offers immigrants $21,000 to leave country
Denmark has agreed to increase tenfold the amount of money offered to immigrants who return home permanently to 100,000 kroner ($21,000 Cdn), officials said Monday.
The centre-right minority government reached an agreement with its key ally, the far-right Danish People’s Party (DPP), on the issue late Sunday as part of their 2010 budget negotiations.
A financial incentive of $2,300 had until now been offered to immigrants to resettle in their country of origin.
The scheme is aimed at immigrants from outside the European Union and Nordic countries, DPP deputy leader Peter Skaarup told AFP.
“It in practice targets those nationals from non-Western countries who are struggling to adapt to Danish society and who would be tempted by a fairly significant sum to go back home forever,” he said.
Skaarup said those taking up the offer would receive $2,300 up front. The remainder of the $21,0000 would be paid out once they surrender their Danish residency permits, he added.
According to the refugee, immigrant and integration ministry, some 2,524 people have voluntarily left Denmark since 1997 when the repatriation program was introduced. Most of them were from the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia and Turkey.