France Offers Refugees, Migrants 2,500Euros to Return Home Freely

تم نشره في Sun 27 November / Nov 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Migrant tents in Paris, France - (AlJazeera)

AMMAN — The French government is offering EURO2,500 to refugees who "voluntarily" leave and return to their own countries if they do so before the end of the year, Le Figaro French daily reported Sunday.

The Office for Immigration and Integration in France (OFII), Didier Leschi, has presented the offer as "a form of compensation" for refugees and migrants who have made the journey to Europe, saying they are eligible for the payment if they leave the country before 31 December, the newspaper said.

The offer, branded as an "incentive" by immigration officials, reportedly comes with a series of added benefits including a paid-for air fare and the opportunity for some refugees to be granted up to EURO10,000 of financial aid in setting up employment when they return.

Didier Leschi, told French TV channel BFM that "This measure will help people who express a need or desire to go back to the countries they came from. Between 4,000 and 4,500 or 4,700 people have benefited from this initiative in the past.

"It’s a system that allows people to establish stability in the country they came from, while also encouraging them not to return. These people have invested money into getting to Europe, so this is an incentive for them to return - it's like a form of compensation," the official added.

When Leschi was asked why such "enormous sums" were being offered to refugees drawn from state funds, he said it worked out cheaper than carrying out "forced" deportations, saying: "A forced deportation is far more expensive for taxpayers and the state.

"They need to go before the administrative judge, then the freedom judge, then they usually need to be accompanied by three police officers, which means paying for three plane tickets, plus their own," Leschi further explained.