Gunter Grass quits SPD

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FRANKFURT (AP) - The author Gunter Grass said yesterday he had resigned from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in protest at its agreement with the government to restrict the asylum law. Grass, a prominent spokesman on liberal issues for many years, joined the party 10 years ago.

In an interview on German television, Grass said the SPD had broken with decades of tradition by agreeing to restrict the asylum law. Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government needs the support of the SPD to change the constitution, which enshrines the right to asylum. The government blames the record number of asylum seekers for the rise in rightist violence.