MADRID Ė A total of 5,099 unemployed immigrants have accepted the Spanish governmentís offer of voluntary repatriation to their homelands, officials said Monday.
The numbers provided by Spainís Labor and Immigration Ministry indicate that most of the applicants come from Latin American countries.
Ecuador with 1,749 beneficiaries, Colombia with 771, Argentina with 364, Peru with 334 and Brazil with 215 are the leaders, followed by Chile with 166 and Uruguay with 139.
These countries are responsible for 91 percent of all applications received.
Of the total number of applications received as of June 3, some 4,753 have been approved while 776 were denied for various reasons.
Another 335 are still waiting to be resolved, the Spanish Labor and Immigration Ministry said Monday in communique.
With the inclusion of accompanying family members numbering 2,100, the program has benefited 6,077 people.
Throughout the month of May an average of 181 new applications have been received each week.
The plan, approved last September, offers jobless immigrants the chance to get their total unemployment benefits in a lump sum: 40 percent before they leave Spain and the rest once they are back in their home countries.
In exchange, they may not return to Spain for a period of three years.
Since the plan went into effect, the Spanish Ministry of Labor and Immigration has awarded 21.2 million euros ($30 million) in jobless benefits to participating immigrants. EFE