MP Oudekki Loone (Center) wrote Greek Minister of Justice Stavros Kontonis a public thank you letter, published in the Greek media, for refusing to participate in a conference on communist crimes held in Tallinn on Black Ribbon Day.
"Honored Minister Stavros Kontonis, I want to express my sincere gratitude and respect for your and the Greek government's decision not to participate in the conference whose topic was 'The legacy of the crimes of communist regimes in 21st century Europe,'" wrote Loone in a letter published on stavroslygeros.gr (link in Greek). "Your explanation of the reasoning behind your decision was perfect! Unfortunately such efforts to indirectly justify the Nazi regime and Nazi ideology are staunchly present in Estonian politics today."
According to Loone, her own decision to celebrate the Soviet victory in World War II on May 9 earned the ire of many Estonian journalists and politicians, but it also earned support. "Thus let me confirm to you that Estonia is not a Nazi state and that here, just like elsewhere, Nazis and supporters of Nazism are in the minority," she wrote.
Loone claimed that the Greek minister's decision was a reminder of European values and gave strength to everyone concerned about the rise of a Cold War-era climate today.
"This conference is a disgrace, but I am certain that a future exists in which such events will not be organized anymore," the Estonian MP concluded. "You only helped to bring on such a future more quickly."
Victims of communism and Nazim were commemorated in Tallinn on Wednesday, the anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which was proclaimed in the European Parliament in April 2009 as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
Since 2009, EU justice ministers and representatives of organizations that study the crimes of totalitarian regimes have met on Aug. 23 every year; this year, they met in Tallinn for the second time.
Greek Minister of Justice Stavro Kontonis refused to participate in the conference, as he claimed that Nazism and communism could not be compared to one another.
Estonian Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) has promised to respond in writing to his Greek colleague.
Editor: Aili Vahtla