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City tries to lure young ex-residents

UPI News Service, 03/21/2006 

There's no place like home, the city of Magdeburg is telling former residents in an effort to lure them back to the eastern German community.

Care packages of chocolate, theater tickets and bar coupons are being sent to former residents 18-30 years old to make them yearn for the town that's been hit by a population exodus since the end of World War II.

The Transport Ministry-funded effort includes a Web site -- -- to help former residents keep contact with home.

Even so, young people are unlikely to leave a good job far away, said project spokeswoman Anne-Katrin Hubel.

"We can't create jobs back in Magdeburg and, in the end, that's the main thing that will bring people back home," Hubel told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

"What we can do is ... say to young people that it's OK to experience other places and get work experience," she said, but they should "come back and bring their experience and know-how with them."

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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