Germany has a new way to deal with more than a million refugees who poured into the country over the last several years — give them money to go home.
The country wants to give rejected asylum-seekers who voluntarily move back to their home countries a one-time payment of euros, which is $3,570. The Interior Ministry says those who qualify can apply by a February 28 deadline and would get the money when they get home, the Associated Press reported.
The Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday that more than 8,600 refugees have already taken up Germany's offered cash to go home over the last few months, but there are some 115,000 rejected asylum-seekers in Germany.
"Half of the grant is payed upon leaving Germany, and the other half is paid six to eight months after their have arrived in their home country," the Daily Mail reported.
The scheme only applies to those from what the International Organization for Migration (IOM) deem to be 'safe countries of origin', such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Somalia.
Between 1 December 2017 and 28 February 2018 returnees can apply for an additional reintegration assistance under the name 'Your Country. Your Future. Now!'.
This grant, of up to 3,000 euros for a family and 1,000 euros for a single person, is meant to pay for rent, construction or renovations to ensure that a home in their country of origin provides basic facilities.
Germany went all in accepting refugees from the Middle East and other war-torn regions of the world. The nation took in nearly 900,000 in 2015 alone, The Washington Post reported. In just two years, some 1.2 million poured in.
But a recent report showed very few of the newcomers bothered to get a job — or were hired by German businesses. Just 34,000 refugees — or 2.8% — of those who streamed into Germany in the last two years have managed to get a job, the U.K.'s Express reported.
The numbers apply to refugees mostly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea.
"If we manage to get 50 percent of them into work which pays for their lives in five years, that'd certainly be a success," said Joachim Möller, director of the government's Institute for Labour Research told the Express.
Meanwhile, the Gatestone Institute reported that "authorities in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, have begun confiscating private dwellings to ease a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than two million migrants into the country in recent years."
City officials have been seizing commercial properties and converting them into migrant shelters since late 2015, when Merkel opened German borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Now, however, the city is expropriating residential property units owned by private citizens.
In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities recently confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. The units, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.