Statement by João Ferreira, member of the Central Committee of the PCP

On the appointment of Mário Centeno as president of the Eurogroup

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1 - The appointment of Mário Centeno as president of the Eurogroup does not represent a positive decision that upholds the interests of the Portuguese workers and people, or for a sovereign development that rejects the constraints and impositions of the European Union, namely those associated with the Economic and Monetary Union and the Euro.

2 - Only a delusion, detached from the institutional reality of the European Union - where the major powers, and in particular Germany, determine the decisions of the Eurogroup - or a strategy to whitewash, based on the current Portuguese political reality, the policies and those in charge in the European Union, can see in the appointment of the Portuguese Finance Minister any change in the policies and options of the European Union.

The past has already proved that the fact that Portuguese citizens assume certain responsibilities in the institutional edifice of the European Union does not mean that national interests are more, or better, upheld. As the Finance Minister’s own statements revealed, his appointment to chair the Eurogroup is linked to an attempt to re-launch Economic and Monetary Union in the context of the so-called "completion of EMU", the conclusion of the Banking Union, the creation of the so-called the "European Monetary Fund" and the creation of the post of a "finance minister" of the European Union, among other harmful measures.

3 - What the situation of the country demands is not the continuity and the deepening of this course and policies, on the contrary. The national situation in the past two years shows that measures that value work, the workers and the social and labour rights of the Portuguese people have been and are subject to criticism, and attempted blocking, by the Eurogroup and the European Union.

In this sense, the appointment of the Portuguese Finance Minister as President of the Eurogroup embodies a contradiction between the path opened by the current phase of national political life, with its undeniable positive effects, and the commitments associated with the post to which Mário Centeno has just be appointed.

The PCP warns against the use that the PS Government, in the framework of its options and in harmony with the PSD and CDS, may make of this decision, in order to step up the refusal or the constraints on the measures that are necessary to develop the Country, namely in what concerns tackling the insufficient public investment; improving public services; stimulating national production; fighting against fiscal injustice; and the necessary increase in wages, especially of the National Minimum Wage.

4 - What the structural problems of the country requires is a break with the submission to the Euro and with the rules and impositions of the European Union, that defend the interests of big capital and the major powers of the European Union, and which are some of the key obstacles to advancing further in the country’s development and in the improvement of the Portuguese people’s living and working conditions.

The PCP will continue, in a coherent and determined way, to act and struggle to uphold the national interest of the workers and the people, for a patriotic and left-wing policy, against the impositions, limitations and constraints of the Euro and of the European Union.