Czech Republic gives foreign workers ticket, money to get home

Rising jobless rate has left many workers without a way to get back to their homelands
||Last Updated: 04/16/2009

The Czech Republic is helping foreign workers from non-European Union countries, who have lost their jobs, get back home.

So far, about 600 people have accepted the government's offer of a plane ticket home and a bonus of 500 euros ($805 Cdn). About 500 Mongolian workers and several Vietnamese workers are among those who have signed on.

The government said the offer is to help workers who have lost their jobs as the economy has slowed and have no means of support or money to return to their home countries.

The Czech jobless rate rose in January to 6.8 per cent, nearly a two-year high, and the country's central bank is predicting the economy will contract in 2009 mostly due to reduced demand for exports such as cars.