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 …