Leonberg – financial crisis in Greece, border controls, Great Britain threatens to quit: The trust of many people in the European Union is sinking, the gaps between the countries seem to widen. At least that does not sound like a holiday mood. Nevertheless, on 5 May, the annual Europe Day will be commemorated in memory of the founding of the Council of Europe on 5 May 1949. Reason enough to ask: are the ditches on our doorstep really that deep?
In Leonberg alone, people from 119 different nations live together, more than 1700 from Greece, many native Italians and Turks, more than 400 people from Croatia and Romania.
Not only Greeks play in the Greek football club
There are also many citizens who have foreign roots, but were born here or now have a German citizenship. In Leonberg and the neighboring communes, they not only share their place of residence, but some even the club.
Born in Germany Behnan Bayindir has Aramaic roots and is a member of the Greek football club Enosis Leonberg 1961. Besides him, there are other active non-Greeks, such as Italians or Turks. Of the longtime members, who were still born in Greece, he knows: Many have found a new home here.
Of course, there are always two hearts beating in her chest, as many of them still have family members and friends in their old homeland. But really few want to go back.
The closest ties in Germany
Similar experiences have been made by Apostolos Giogas of the Greek Parents‘ Association in Rutesheim. He also feels at home here, as does Mustafa Kabasakal, chairman of the Association of International Parents in Renningen.
In Turkey he is happy to visit, but he has the closest ties, family and friends, but in his Renninger adopted home, where he has spent most of his youth.
The other side is of course also. Nataša Cica from the Pastoral Council of the Croatian Catholic community Leonberg was born in Germany, but sees himself even more as a Croatian and also has a Croatian passport. She also knows from some senior parishioners that, once they retire, they would like to return to Croatia, where their roots are.