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France to offer migrants €2,500 to return home freely

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France to offer migrants €2,500 to return home freely
Photo: AFP
10:42 CET+01:00
France is offering migrants €2,500 each if they voluntarily return to their home country, the immigration office has said.
Didier Leschi, the head of France's immigration office, said the hope was to "significantly increase the number of aided voluntary departures" to those who come from outside the EU.
 
The move comes after the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais was demolished last month, scattering around 7,000 migrants to refugee centres and temporary shelters across the country. 
 
The offer only stands until December 31st, but comes with a series of added benefits. For example, the air fare will also be paid for, and some migrants will be eligible for up to €10,000 of financial aid in setting up employment when they return. 
 
"It can help them start up a small business, depending on the country," Leschi said. 
 
Leschi added that he thought Afghani migrants would be most likely to take up the offer, noting that 400 had already voluntarily returned home this year alone. 
 
The allowance has been repeatedly increased in recent months, and had been set at just €350 until October, when it was raised to €650, then raised again to €1,850 in early November. 
 
The immigration office aided 3,051 returns this year so far, and predicted that the figure will reach 4,500 by the end of the year. 
 

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