ZIUA VECHE (Romania) JURNAL DE CHISINAU (Moldavia)
The Communist party of the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, which had remained in power until 2009, is going to have to kiss goodbye to their hammer and sickle.
The Moldovan Parliament voted on Thursday to forbid the use of Communist symbols by political groups and parties, reports Romanian website Ziua Veche.
In the same measure, the Parliament voted to officially condemn the Soviet rule that lasted from 1924-1990, calling it a "totalitarian" regime. The vote was part of a standing political battle between the Liberal Party, close to neighoring Romania and the European Union, and the Communist Party, which has strong ties to Russia.
According to Moldovan weekly Jurnal de Chisinau, members of the Russian Communist Party called the ban on political groups using Communist symbols a "shame." Some Moldovan Liberal party members, however, are pushing to extend the ban on the political use of symbols of Communism, as well as Nazism, to include any individual as well.
With a population of fewer than four million, Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Situated between Romania and Ukraine, the country became an independent state in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since then, many in Moldova have been struggling to forget the Soviet past and move closer to the European Union. Its main supporter inside the EU is western neighbor Romania, a country with which it shares the same language and a common history.