EU migrants send 26 billion euro to homelands

The EU's statistics office said Tuesday that Migrants living in European Union nations sent EUR26 billion (US$38 billion) back to their homelands in 2006.

The figure was EUR3 billion (US$4.4 billion) higher than in 2005, Eurostat said.

Of the total figure, EUR19 billion (US$28 billion) went to countries outside the EU. Transfers by workers sending money from one EU nation to another totaled EUR6.8 billion (US$9.9 billion).

More than 85 percent of the remittances was sent from Spain, Britain, Germany, France and Italy, the Eurostat statement said.

Remittances sent from the 27 EU nations was more than twice the EUR9 billion (US$13 billion) received from EU citizens living abroad.

The Eurostat data, based on figures sent by national authorities, did not give details of destination countries, but the EU also published the findings of a study that listed Morocco, Turkey, Colombia, Ecuador and Algeria as nations receiving most.

The EU-financed study was carried out by Madrid's Foundation for Applied Economic Studies based on 2004 data. It also said EU-members Poland and Portugal were major recipients of workers' remittences from other EU nations.

According to the study, the main flows of workers' money in 2004 were from Germany to Turkey, France to Morocco, France to Portugal, Spain to Morocco and Spain to Colombia. Since then, however, hundreds of thousands of workers have moved west from new EU-member nations in eastern Europe.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova