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Foreign workers

Foreigners working in the European Union (EU) sent less money home last year due to the international financial crisis, showed official figures released Monday. Money sent by migrants to their countries of origin, usually referred to as workers' remittances, totaled 30.3 billion euros (40.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the 27-member bloc last year, down by 7 percent from 2008, according to the EU's statistics office Eurostat. Workers' remittances in the EU had registered a constant increase over recent years, but this trend was interrupted by the financial crisis and the ensuing economic downturn. The decrease was seen in both intra-EU and extra-EU flows. In 2009, the latter stood at 22 billion euros (29.1 billion dollars), or some 73 percent of the total, marking the same percentage as in 2008. The drop was recorded in most EU members, with the deepest falls observed in Spain and France, according to the data. Yet meanwhile, Spain remained the EU member state with the largest outflow of workers' remittances in 2009, which numbered 7.1 billion euros (9.4 billion dollars).