Germany Development Minister Gerd Müller has announced a three year plan to encourage migrants to return to their homelands.
The programme will help rejected asylum seekers, and also migrants who want to return voluntarily, make a new start in their countries of origin.
Its announcement comes as Germany is expecting to have spent almost 100 billion euros on recently arrived migrants by the end of 2020, according to reports.
“We will fund the return program with 50 million euros for for the next three years,” the CSU politician told the Augsburger Allgemeine.
The 150 million euro program, titled “Perspective of Home”, is aimed primarily at migrants who have little chance of being granted asylum in Germany, but also will help people who have eave to stay but are disappointed with life in Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse.
Migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans will be the main beneficiaries of the scheme, and according to the ministry there is a high willingness among those communities to return home voluntarily.
Müller said the programme will give migrants assurance “that Germany will remain a reliable partner after they return home, and will help them to make a new start”.
He explained that fear of being seen as a failure by family and the local community is one of the biggest obstacles migrants face when returning to their homelands voluntarily.
“We can offer them education, training, employment and social benefits,” Müller said, to ensure that “they will not be seen as losers.”
The development minister stressed that the programme is both better for migrants and much less costly for taxpayers.
“It’s in our interest to approach these people instead of letting them get caught up in our procedural bureaucracy for many years,” said Müller. “We are offering them the chance to make a new start in their home country and to return voluntarily.”
The debate on Germany’s decision to open its doors to more than a million migrants last year was reignited after an Afghan man posing as an “unaccompanied minor” raped and murdered a 19 year old student.
The chairman of the DPoIG police union, Rainer Wendt, said the killing could have been prevented.
“We wouldn’t have this victim, and so many others, if our country had been better prepared for the dangers that always go along with massive immigration,” he told Bild.
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