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Executive Summary for July 21st

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including concerns in Germany that an attack by a teenage refugee may change attitudes, the E.U. spurring the creation of jobs for Syrians in Jordan and the arrest of Macedonian police for people smuggling.

Published on July 21, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Train Attack Worries Germans and Refugees

There are concerns in Germany that an attack by a 17-year-old refugee may change attitudes to asylum seekers.

A knife-and-ax rampage on a commuter train by a boy, named by German media as Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, has left both Germans and refugees in the country worried.

“When you hear about something like this, like this attack, you are naturally just a little afraid,” Hanan Alderzy, 28, who arrived in Weimar three months ago from the central Syrian town of Masyaf told the New York Times. “Will people treat you differently?”

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and posted a video featuring the boy making threats. But before this week’s violence there was no indication that the teenager, who registered as being from Afghanistan but may have come from Pakistan, was radicalized.

He was placed with a foster family in a town in Bavaria, was learning German, playing football and interning at a bakery. His foster family, who had no indication he was planning anything, said the death of a friend in Afghanistan had affected him badly.

“It’s not good,” said Rainer Wernicke, an official with the Green Party, which has been supportive of refugee inflows. “The atmosphere in this country is not comforting.”

The teen had registered as a refugee in June 2015. German authorities sent him to an asylum home for unaccompanied minors in Ochsenfurt near Wuerzburg.

A spokesman for Germany’s Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees, Tobias Klaus, said the incident showed that more help was needed.

“There is no absolute protection against radicalization, but we can reduce the danger by giving the minors a real chance and helping them with strong perspectives,” he told the A.P.

E.U. Eases Trade Rules With Jordan to Create Jobs for Refugees

The European Union has eased trade rules with Jordan to help create jobs for Syrian refugees and encourage foreign investment in the kingdom.

The E.U. ambassador to Jordan, Andrea Matteo Fontana, said on July 20 that trade concessions will allow more Jordanian goods to be sold in Europe without tariffs. Manufacturers must employ a certain percentage of Syrians in order to be eligible.

Jordan hosts some 650,000 Syrian refugees. The E.U. and other wealthy nations have been looking at economic incentives that could ease the fallout in the kingdom from the war in Syria.

Trade deals such as this are one of the alternative policy options to paying third countries to stop migration, as in Turkey’s controversial pact with the E.U.

FYROM Police Arrested for People Smuggling

Five police officers in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have been arrested in connection with people smuggling. The officers are alleged to have helped hundreds of refugees and migrants cross the country’s southern border with Greece.

Countrywide raids on July 20 recovered assault rifles and other weapons, while another 14 suspects were also arrested. As well as people smuggling, the gang is also suspected of robberies and arms and drugs trafficking.

Three more suspected members of the gang remain at large. FYROM closed its border with Greece in March amid efforts across Europe to stop large numbers of refugees and migrants entering the E.U.

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