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    Migrants in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016

    Merkel Expects 60,000 Migrants to Leave Germany Voluntarily This Year

    © AFP 2019 / Christof Stache
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects that this year around 100,000 migrants will leave Germany, over half of them voluntarily.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A third of the total number of migrants will have to be compulsorily returned to their home countries, while around 60,000 will return to their homeland by means of voluntary repatriation programs, Merkel said on Friday at a regional conference in Neumunster, as cited by the Salzburger Nachrichten daily newspaper.

    The chancellor stressed that forceful deportations increase the willingness of migrants to return voluntarily, in which case the affected individuals get some benefits.

    "If governments refuse to forcibly return them [migrants], then, of course, everyone says ‘I do not want to voluntarily’," Merkel stressed as quoted by Salzburger Nachrichten on Friday.

    The European Union is currently struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty and seeking asylum in Europe.

    Last year, more than one million migrants and asylum seekers arrived in Germany.

    According to data from the German Interior Ministry, over 20,000 migrants had left the country by October 2016.


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