State Expects to Provide 1,000 Euros for Each Returning Compatriot
The amount earmarked for assisting Estonians returning to their homeland this year is slightly over 60,000 euros, with a target of 60 repatriates.
Rain Sannik, director of the Integration and Migration Foundation, said the assistance is decided on a case by case basis and the 61,577 euros can be divided up differently.
The maximum that a person moving back to Estonia can seek is 2,000 euros.
In the past, many of the people repatriating have been from the Estonian villages that developed over the 19th and 20th centuries in Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Sannik said experience from years past and statistics were considerations along with the size of the budget. "Since 2008 much fewer returnees have received monetary assistance compared to past years, just like the budget," Sannik said.
The number of returnees has dropped sixfold. In 2007, the state paid an average of nearly 1,000 euros to 144 people who moved back. In 2008, 242 received the assistance and the average was just over 500 euros.
But a year later, after the recession, only 42 sought the assistance. The average was just under 1,100 euros. There have been around 60 applicants since then.