Reseña – El laberinto de los dioses

Me gusta mi mirada, profunda y antigua, la que me ayuda a recordar lo que fue y a adivinar lo que puede llegar a ser. Me gusta el hueco donde antes de mis recuerdos debió existir un corazón.”

El laberinto de los dioses
Imagen: Miren Hurtado.

Vivimos en un mundo de dualidades; blanco o negro, el yin yang, bueno versus malo…ángel o demonio, luz y sombra…en el libro El laberinto de los dioses: memorias de un ángel caído, su autora Virginia Blanes nos muestra un relato sobre las luces y las sombras que habitan en cada una de nosotras. Protagonizado por un demonio que cuenta su viaje a través de una mujer a la que ha acompañado durante varias vidas, el libro representa un retazo de realidad interna zurcida en una historia laberíntica sobre la naturaleza y los conflictos del ser humano a un nivel profundo.

El libro nos refleja esa misma dualidad, la falta de unidad en la que las personas nos sentimos atrapadas, perdidas, rotas y desgarradas por dentro, alejadas de nosotras mismas, echándonos de menos. El laberinto de los dioses es también una invitación a mirarse la sombra de cada una, un homenaje a las personas que han tenido el valor de observarla. Una caricia de luz que nos arropa el alma y nos reconcilia con aquellas zonas oscuras que inevitablemente forman parte de nuestra esencia. Una llamada en forma de poesía para recordar que, iluminando, en su aceptación y en el amor hacia ellas se encuentra nuestra plenitud.

Gracias Virginia.

A veces, los humanos, ocupan espacio, mucho más que el de su propio cuerpo. Eso impide que otros puedan acercarse. Así la vida se estanca en ese espacio muerto de seres del pasado, que no supieron seguir su camino, impidiendo a otros seguir el suyo. Así termina esta historia de amor, una más, antes de comenzar.”

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Asylum: State of play in the EU member states

Two weeks ago the refugee* crisis came again under the media spotlight as the rescue vessel operated by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms was blocked in Italy following accusations of ‘fostering illegal immigration’. Within this period, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has issued the data on asylum applicants in the EU in 2017 and the Commission has just announced new emergency support** to help refugees in Greece. 

In 2017, 650,000 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the EU member states. This was just over half the number recorded in 2016. Syrian (102,400 first-time applicants), Iraqi (47,500) and Afghan (43,600) continued to be the main citizenships of people seeking international protection in the EU in 2017, together accounting for 30% of all first time applicants.

At the end of 2017, 927,300 applications for international protection in the EU member states were still under consideration*** by the national authorities. Germany had the largest share of applications pending in the EU at the end of 2017 (443,800, or 48% of the EU total), ahead of Italy (152,400, or 16%), Austria (57,700, or 6%) and Sweden (51,500, or 6%).

In the case of Spain, there were 30,445 first-time asylum applicants in 2017 (twice as much as in 2016 – 15,570). According to the Spanish media outlet eldiario.es – sourcing the information to the Commission – Spain is, along with the eastern countries, one of the EU countries that have most broken their quota of refugees as stated in the EU relocation plan.

Data from the press room of the Spanish Home Ministry (Ministerio de Interior 07/11/2017) reveals that 2,217 asylum seekers (solicitantes de protección internacional) have been taken by the country, however, it is not specified the period. While the initial commitment for the relocation and resettlement signed by the Spanish government was 17,337, the total figure of refugees taken by Spain is 1,910 (11%).

More information

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*As mixing both terms (‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’) across the piece, it is important to mention the distinction made by Amnesty International  when it comes to the most common refugee terminology. According to this distinction ‘every refugee is initially an asylum seeker‘. 
**This new funding comes under the ESTIA programme. Launched in July 2017 with the UN Refugee Agency, ESTIA is the biggest EU aid operation in the country and works in line with the Greek government’s ‘out of camps’ policy.
***Pending applications for international protection are applications that have been made at any time and are still under consideration by the national authorities at the end of the reference period.