The Shame of Europe, a poem Gunter Grass wrote on the current relations between Europe and Greece, can easily be dismissed as ‘romantic’, and probably this is how most European leaders will read it. Greece is close to chaos, they will say, because of its own mistakes and corruption.

The objection is true, but with this truth Europeans will lose the chance to understand their compatriot. Greeks have an obligation and a benefit to see their own problems, and the same is true for Europe.

Corruption exists in Greece, corruption is discovered by Grass in Europe too – Greek treasures theft, invasion of Greece, acceptance of the Greek junta, recklessness, spiritual poverty, distance from the foundations of Europe …

Since the eurozone is in danger, perhaps able to drag down the European Union as a whole, no wonder why such emphasis in accounting. Fiscal discipline is necessary, we need growth, etc. – but equally important is the way in which financial aims are realized.

If indeed what exists under the label of the European Union is not a bank with customers and partners, but historical nations, then, participating in an entity of such dimensions makes it absurd to think what to confiscate if the other won’t pay you, etc. Proximity and the union itself, the seriousness and depth of such a relationship finds proper ways for fruitful help.

We have come even to European symbols such as the Acropolis being used in a derogatory manner. Thanks to the wisdom of the European leaders, the peoples of Europe almost hate the Greeks. Gunter Grass warns that Europe marches towards its extinction, maybe not its financial but surely its spiritual collapse.

The future of Europe will no longer regard any living being at all, if instead of a real union of historical peoples Europe continues to build on opportunism.