BRUSSELS 's Tunne Kelam, a MEP from Estonia, said communist symbols must condemned in the same way as Nazi symbols, which last week Lithuania's MEP, Vytautas Landsbergis, suggested.
"To my mind a ban is the ultimate measure to be used in a free and democratic society. What's more important is public condemnation," Kelam, a member of the European People's Party, told the Baltic News Service.
He said that the Western world had publicly condemned Nazi symbols but hadn't done the same with communist ones. He stressed that the symbols of both criminal regimes had to be treated in the same way.
Landsbergis and Hungarian MEP Jozsef Szajer last week made a proposal to the EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini to impose an equal ban on the display of communist symbols if the EU is to ban the swastika in the entire EU.
"If any such legislative steps are considered about the swastika used as a Nazi symbol, the communist symbols should be treated similarly," the letter by Landsbergis and Szajer to the EU commissioner read.
"It is well-known and well documented that Communist dictatorships are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent civilians, in no fewer numbers than the Nazi dictatorships," the letter added. "The same moral code should apply to Communism, the other extremist ideology of the last century."
During a meeting of EU justice ministers this week, Frattini said he would consider the issue of banning the swastika throughout the entire EU.