A member of the Socialist Democrat Party, nobel laureate Grass was a staunch critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s uncompromising attitude to Greece’s economy.
Here is his poem on Greece from 2012
Close to chaos, because the market is not just, you’re far away from the country which was your cradle.
What was searched and found with one’s soul, is now considered to be as worthless as scrap metal.
As a debtor put naked on the pillory, a country about which you used to say you were grateful, suffers.
Poverty doomed country whose maintained wealth adorns museums of the loot you kept.
Those [World War II German Nazi occupation soldiers] who hit the country, blessed with islands, with the force of arms wore both uniforms and [books of German poet, inspired by ancient Greek poetry] Hölderlin in their knapsacks.
Barely tolerated country whose colonels were once tolerated by you as an alliance partner.
Country which lost its rights, whose belt is tightened and tightened again by the cocksurely powerful.
Antigone defying you wearing black and all over the country, the people whose guest you have been wear mourning clothes.
However, outside the country, the Croesus resembling followers have hoarded all what glitters like gold in your vaults.
Booze at last, drink! [European] Commissioners’ cheerleaders shout. However, Socrates gives you back the [hemlock poison] cup full to the brim.
Curse you as a chorus, which is characteristic of you, will the gods, whose Mount Olympus you want to steal.
You’ll waste away mindlessly without the country, whose mind invented you, Europe.
Throughout his writing career he wrote more than 30 plays, novels, poetry books, essays and memoirs. He won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature.