Berlin, May 26 (AP): German Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass has criticised Greece’s treatment by its fellow European nations in the debt crisis, describing it in a new poem published today as a “country sentenced to poverty”.
The 84-year-old’s latest work, “Europe’s Disgrace”, was published in the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung less than two months after Grass triggered a storm of criticism with another intervention on a political issue — a prose poem sharply criticising Israel amid the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Greece is struggling with austerity and reform programmes demanded by creditors in exchange for rescue loans, an approach that Germany’s government has championed. Speculation is growing that Greece may end up leaving the 17-nation eurozone.
Grass wrote that Greece has been “pilloried naked as a debtor”. He ended his poem with the warning: “You will waste away spiritlessly without the country whose spirit, Europe, conceived you.”