After the workers’ service, delegations from the KAB local associations, interested parties and honorary guests came together at the KAB house in wilhelmsthal for a political "fruhschoppen". Under the title "europe on our doorstep diocesan secretary maria gerstner informed and discussed the importance of the EU with her interlocutors.
"In languages you often hear that brussel is far away. There one has no idea what is going on with us", gerstner explained. Nevertheless, the EU is also omnipresent in everyday life – for example, through funding for the bio-energy village of effelter, the flakonglasmuseum and the tropical house in kleintettau, or for the arnica town of teuschnitz.
Living safely and peacefully
But this is only one side of the EU. "The founding fathers of the common europe wanted much more – a europe in which all people can live safely and peacefully in freedom", she explained. But this noble goal could not only be achieved in brussel. Rather one must live and experience this europe concretely locally.
The discussion was attended by wilhelmsthal’s mayor susanne grebner (SPD), former burgkunstadt mayor heinz petterich (G), municipal, district and city councillor edith memmel von den grunen, niklas stadelmann – CSU list candidate in the european elections – from burgkunstadt, the head of the kronach job center, stefan loffler, and diozesanprases albert muller.
Grebner and petterich complained about the bureaucracy involved in applying for grants, for which expensive external bureaus have to be called in. According to grebner, europe is also associated with fears; after all, with europe-wide tenders, there is a risk that local companies will lose out. "You can’t get a button without expertise", also confirmed county councilor petterich, who demanded a de-bureaucratization of the european union. At the same time, he was pleased about the lively city partnerships with poland and france and, in particular, the lively school exchanges between young people.
Memmel focuses on the long peace process. The fate of the refugees shows how grateful we can be for this achievement of the EU. The creation of social standards – especially in the wage sector – is urgently needed. She sharply denounced the planned privatization of the water supply, which, like electricity and health care, should remain in municipal hands.
Stadelmann appealed to seek political balance. One should not impose german ideas on other countries with their own cultural system. This would play into the hands of nationalistic political groups. It was important to mobilize voters for the european elections.
According to loffler, 380 of the 1,200 people registered with the job center had an immigrant background. The lion’s share – around 200 people – are recognized refugees. The EU has so far demanded around 110 jobs. "The application was a certain auand", he conceded, but had been feasible.
For europe-wide standards
The KAB calls for a european community charter in which the basic social rights of workers are defined in a binding manner and secured by welfare state regulations with uniform standards throughout europe. A high demand for which – according to albert muller – there is still a lot to be done. He himself sometimes complains about the EU’s regulatory frenzy.
"We do not always have it easy with europe. But nothing works without europe, gerstner was certain in her closing remarks. We all had it in our hands to choose a democratic, solidary and just europe.
The guests were welcomed by the chairman of the KAB local association of wilhelmsthal, reinhold dietrich, district chairman gunter romig and mayor susanne grebner. "The 1. May day offers a good opportunity to give account for the work done; but also to ask ourselves how such a heritage can be carried into a present and future that are very troubling to us", clarified dietrich.
A "pretty tough dog
From the 1. May as a "pretty tame dog" speech romig. As a public holiday, it is now exactly 100 years old; as a workers’ day, it is decades old. Unfortunately the day is nowadays hardly as day of the work in the consciousness of humans, but rather as a day for the individual leisure organization. Grebner thanked the ruhr local association for its great commitment as well as the social association in general for always taking up current socio-political topics. Silvia wachter was responsible for the musical performance with very atmospheric, thematically well chosen songs.
The flag delegations of the KAB marched to the parish church in the morning, accompanied by the traditional band of wilhelmsthal. The service was celebrated by the KAB-prasides pastor sven raube from wilhelmsthal, father waldemar brysch from steinberg, chaplain andreas stahl from kronach, deacon georg zenk from johannisthal, kreisprases deacon herbert mayer as well as diozesanprases dean albert muller who held the festive sermon.
Money in the wrong pockets
He called on all women and men of the KAB to show solidarity for all workers in europe and for a life for all people in europe. Four million children are currently affected by poverty in germany; 15.7 percent of the population lives in poverty or on the poverty line – almost 13 million people! 1.2 million people worked full time and could not live on it.
"Such numbers are a scandal in a country which – on average – is doing so well", he denounced that the money is there, but in the wrong pockets.
The long-time local chairman of the KAB wilhelmsthal, reinhold dietrich, was awarded the "red badge of honor" of the KAB awarded. This is the social association’s highest award of all. Diocesan association chairwoman ingrid schumann praised dietrich’s commitment, who has held the presidency since 1991. It should be particularly emphasized that wilhelmsthal is the only local association in germany to bear responsibility for its own house. This costs not "only money in maintenance and all-around renovation, but also time and energy. Over the years, dietrich has always passed on the values of the KAB to younger generations as well.