TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu has promised to reply in writing to his Greek colleague Stavros Kontonis who turned down an invitation to participate in a conference on crimes committed by Communist regimes held in Tallinn on Wednesday, saying that that Nazism and Communism could never exist as the two parts of the same equation.
"I shall reply to my colleague in writing," Reinsalu said at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that "we are faced with the important job of clarifying and increasing awareness."
"Paradoxically this letter will also issue a very clear justification, why those kind of activities are vital and necessary for our future as well as for the millions of victims," Reinsalu said.
Both Reinsalu and the president of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience (PEMC) Goran Lindblad, who also participated in the press conference, emphasized the importance of condemning all totalitarian regimes.
"I would say that this is not a political but value-based and legal question. The basis of this is human dignity, which is undividable," the minister said.
"It is not necessary to compare or equalize different totalitarian regimes -- there is no need -- we must simply look at the results of their activity. It is not important to people what kind of ideology is the reason they are killed," Lindblad said.
He said that Communist ideology in itself was bad, not that someting went wrong when implementing it. "Both the texts of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' and Karl Marx include it -- the idea to use terror to keep dictatorships in power," Lindblad, a member of the Swedish Moderate Party, said.
"Communists have been in the government in Greece, but there have been few of them. If there had been more, they would think differently. So I hope that you will respond to them firmly," Lindblad told Reinsalu.
Greek Minister of Justice Stavros Kontonis last week turned down an invitation to participate in the international conference on crimes committed by Communist regimes held in Tallinn on August 23, saying that the conference certainly does not reflect the view of the Greek government and the Greek people, which is that Nazism and Communism could never exist as the two parts of the same equation.
The comments of the minister, who is also a member of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), have caused extensive discussion in Greece.
The European Parliament's European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group on Tuesday made a statement in support of the Greek minister by accusing Estonia of politicizing its EU presidency and added that the conference to be held in Tallinn is an "insult to European historical memory."