The Government in Madrid recently came up with a wonderful idea – if you were a legal immigrant, working in Spain, with the right to unemployment benefit (paro) and from a country we like, if you lost your job you could ask for a cheque of all of your unemployment unpaid and social security payments and get a free flight home, in return for handing in your residencia. And if you frittered all your money away in the brothels and casinos of Lima, or realised that Bolivia had, as we told you before, become a left wing commie military dictatorship owned by a bloke with bad taste in sweaters (porque no te calles, cono!) you had three years in which to reapply for your residencia and return.
It was one of those rare policies that both the left and the right agreed on. Hard working immigrants who had worked legally in Spain could reap the benefits of their hard work and return home to improve the infrastructure of their native lands with their earnings and their knowledge; or those buggers who had come over on the pateras and taken advantadge of the immigrant amnestys were kicked out leaving proper people their jobs. (IE, picking olives at €3,50 an hour).
So far, 767 people have taken up this scheme, not many of them from Andalucia. 130 from Madrid, 100 Murcia, 73 Barcelona, 63 Alicante, 56 Valencia, 18 Almeria, etc.
Most people are returning to Ecuador, Colombia & Argentinia, although one bloke used the scheme to get back to the States, and 2 to Andorra. Press release here.