Denmark pays 71 Syrians to leave country

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The figures were reported by newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad on Friday.

Each left the country with at least 140,000 kroner paid to them by the Danish state through an incentive scheme introduced under the previous government.

None had left the country under the scheme prior to May 1st.

New rules took effect this year, meaning that Syrian refugees who live in Denmark do not immediately lose their right to residence if they return home.

They now have up to a year in which they can change their minds about the decision. The addition of this clause has encouraged people to take up the option, according to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

The organization is responsible for advising refugees who are thinking of returning to their homelands.

“Many people simply feel that it is too difficult to enter the jobs market and get established in Denmark,” the council’s head of asylum Eva Singer told Kristeligt Dagblad.

“The money makes a difference to their considerations but also means thay can change their minds if Syria turns out to be too dangerous,” Singer added.

Syrians are not the only nationality encompassed by the incentive programme.

During the first ten months of this year, 438 refugees and migrants left Denmark with such a payment from the state.

The Ministry of Immigration and Integration told Kristeligt Dagblad that it expects to spend 102 million kroner this year paying refugees to return home.

That total has been received with concern by the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, which voted for the legislation providing for it.

“It’s good news when refugees go home. But in this case it’s also a strange piece of news,” the party’s immigration spokesperson Pia Kjærsgaard told Kristeligt Dagblad.

“It’s a very high amount and I understand if people are wondering about it,” she added.

Rasmus Stoklund, spokesperson for the governing Social Democrats, said he would take a look at the amount, but reconfirmed the party is in support of the programme.

READ ALSO: Danish refugee board allows Syrians to retain asylum status

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