U-TURN ON IMMIGRATION POLICY

Labour and Immigration minister Celestino Corbacho has announced a U-turn in immigration policy. Less than a year ago, the government was encouraging the contracting of workers in their countries of origin but as of July, it will be offering them incentives to go home. Sr Corbacho said he expected more than a million foreigners, that is, half of the 2.2 million non-EU foreigners already here, to accept the offer of the full payment of all their unemployment subsidies in two parts. In exchange they would have to give up their residence and work permits and promise not to return to Spain for at least three years. Sr Corbacho said the subsidies could amount to as much as €10,000, which “may not sound a lot of money here but it’s a small fortune in their countries of origin, enough to start a business”.

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