More than 50,000 refugees were financially supported to voluntarily go back to their countries in 2016, the German authorities revealed on Wednesday.
Harald Neymanns, a spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry, said 54,123 people who wanted to return to their countries voluntarily were supported by around €21.5 million ($22.5 million).
Neymanns said 35,514 people left Germany for good in 2015. He added that more resources would be allocated next year to support voluntary repatriation.
According to a report by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, the largest group that voluntarily left Germany was citizens of Balkan countries – the largest single nationality being 15,000 Albanian people.
Albanians were followed by 5,000 people from Serbia, Kosovo and Iraq. Around 3,200 Afghans went back to their countries, the report added.
Neymanns also recalled German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere’s comments that instead of deportation, voluntary returns were always preferable.—Agencies