Statement PCP Central Committee

Communiqué of the Central Committee of the PCP of 29 and 30 June 2018

The Central Committee of the PCP, meeting on June 29 and 30, 2018, discussed aspects of the international situation and in the European Union, examined the national political, economic and social situation and developments in the mass struggle, and outlined the guidelines for intervention and strengthening of the Party.

I. Intervention and struggle - For a Patriotic and Left-wing Alternative

Recent developments in the political situation are marked by the contradictions inherent in the options of the PS and its minority Government at the service of big business and of submission to the EU, standing out a growing convergence with PSD and CDS to guarantee the essential of right-wing policy in matters and core areas of government action.

Options that prevent the resolution of many national problems and limit public investment and the answer to the concerns and aspirations of workers and populations.

This reality shows the topicality and urgency of the struggle for a rupture with the right-wing policy and for a patriotic and left-wing alternative, and at the same time confirms the need to spare no opportunity to carry further the defence, restoration and achievement of rights.

The development of the mass struggle is of particular importance and significance. A struggle that, having been decisive for the advances made, is the most significant element to resist and advance, and for the rupture with the right-wing policy.

The reality confirms the pivotal role that the PCP has played in all the advances made and makes even more evident the fundamental question for the future - that of strengthening the PCP and its influence.

In view of the problems facing the workers, the people and the country, the Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms that it is in the hands and will of the workers and the people, of the democrats and patriots, with their intervention and struggle, with their support to the PCP, an indispensable and irreplaceable force, the possibility of constructing the alternative - a patriotic and left-wing policy and a Government that will materialize it.

II. International Situation

1. The international situation remains characterized by great instability and uncertainty, in which serious threats to workers and peoples coexist with the potential for the development of resistance and struggle to defend their rights and for their emancipation

2. Capitalism confirms its exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature. This is evident in the intensification of exploitation, in the deepening of social inequalities and injustices, in the denial of basic needs, in the plunder and predation of resources, in the scale of refugee and migrant flows, and in the tragedy it involves.

Faced with the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism - with the sharpening of its systemic contradictions and the persistence of factors that could lead the world economy to a new peak of crisis - and the process of realignment of forces that is taking place around the world, imperialism, particularly the North American, seeking to counteract the trend of its relative decline, persists in its offensive.

The US-led imperialism, which insists on interference, destabilization, militarism and war, is particularly serious. An attack directed against all peoples and countries that defend and affirm their rights, sovereignty, development and independence - and strategically directed against the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation - has been accompanied by the subordination of US allies to its strategy and interests.

It is in this context that, in a framework of imperialist concertation/rivalry, the factors of contradiction between the great imperialist powers (US, EU/Germany, Japan) are enhanced, like the US imposition of higher commercial tariffs and the nature of extra-territorial sanctions applied by them affecting their allies, in particular the major powers of the EU. Inter-imperialist contradictions that had particular expression in the disagreements witnessed at the recent G7 Summit in Canada.

In the present situation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, held in China, is of particular significance – due to the content of the solutions presented and the understandings reached for deepening cooperation between the participating countries and in defending the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law - which expresses the reality of the realignment of forces around the world.

3. Disrespecting and failing to comply important agreements aimed at opening the way to détente, resolution of conflicts, disarmament and peace - like the multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran - confronting the United Nations and international legality, the offensive of US imperialism , now headed by Donald Trump’s Administration, aims to impose an international order hegemonized by it, using its military power, its domination of international institutions and financial system as a means for blackmail and economic blockade and its huge means of political and ideological action.

4. The Central Committee of the PCP alerts to the aims of the NATO Summit, to be held on July 11 and 12 in Brussels, Belgium, for what it represents in terms of an increased threat to peace, involving, among other serious aspects, the increase in military expenditure, enhancing the militarisation of the EU as a "European pillar" of NATO, and as a complement to this aggressive political-military bloc, the strengthening of NATO troops in Eastern Europe, close to the Russian Federation. This situation, contrary to what the President of the Republic and the Government have advocated, calls for a clear opposition to the policy of submission to the major powers of NATO and EU, in particular Portugal's participation in foreign military missions at the service of NATO and its imperialist powers, which undermines central features of national sovereignty and independence and does not serve the interests of Portugal.

The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the importance of supporting the Petition for Portugal's joining the Nuclear Arms Prohibition Treaty, promoted by the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), and calls for participation in the actions promoted by various organisations in Portugal, under the slogan "Yes to Peace! No to NATO! ', in particular, in the public events to be held on July 9 in Lisbon and on July12 in Oporto.

5. Emphasizing the intensity of imperialism's offensive in various regions of the world, the Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the need for solidarity with workers and peoples who are engaged in a courageous struggle to defend their rights and sovereignty in a complex and demanding situation of resistance and gathering of forces around the world.

The US Administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which is a clear violation of international law, and the crimes perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people, give greater importance to the Palestinian people's struggle to create the State of Palestine, with pre-1967 borders and with its capital in East Jerusalem, and respect for refugee rights.

The Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance of the recent victories of the Syrian patriotic forces over terrorist groups, denounces the continuation of imperialist and Zionist aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, exemplified by the bombing by the United States, United Kingdom and France, as well as the increased aggression against Yemen, and warns of the threat of intensification of destabilization and imperialist aggression in the Middle East, particularly against Iran.

Appreciating efforts to contain and counter the US warmongering policy in the Korean Peninsula, the Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms that it upholds the respect of national sovereignty and independence, the right of the Korean people to peace and to decide their destinies free from interference, external pressures and threats, the normalisation of relations, by implementing effective security guarantees for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, that a political solution can be reached for a conflict that has persisted for more than 65 years and to ensure a stable and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, contributing to the path towards the abolition of nuclear weapons and their non-proliferation.

The Central Committee of the PCP emphasizes the struggle of the peoples of Latin America for their rights and sovereignty. It stresses the important victory of the Bolivarian revolutionary and progressive forces in the recent Venezuelan presidential elections, with the re-election of President Nicolás Maduro, which expresses and confirms the condemnation by the Venezuelan people of the destabilisation operation of the USA and its allies against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It also stresses the struggle in Colombia, in defence of the peace process, in Brazil in defence of democracy, as well as the struggle of socialist Cuba to end the criminal blockade by the United States.

III. Developments in the European Union

1. Recent developments in the European Union (EU) confirm the nature and evolutionary tendencies of the capitalist integration process in the context of deepening the structural crisis of capitalism and brings even more urgently the need for a patriotic and left-wing policy to ensure national sovereignty and free Portugal from impositions and policies contrary to national interest and the Portuguese people.

2. Notwithstanding contradictions and factors of crisis in the capitalist integration process, big business and its main political expressions on the European continent - right, far right and social democracy - converge on the objective of deepening the neoliberal and militaristic pillars of the European Union. The inter-imperialist contradictions with the US and the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU are used to enhance the federalist logic and greater concentration of power on the Franco-German axis, trying to carry still further the policies of domination at the service of big business and great powers.

3. Despite a contradictory framework and real difficulties that objectively question the very process of capitalist integration, the conclusions of the European Council of June 28 and 29 confirm a course of deepening the mechanisms of economic and political dominance, of deepening the militarist and securitary drift of a reactionary nature in the EU policies, a case in point is the so-called migration and asylum policy.

The real aims of the European Union are accompanied by huge propaganda campaigns. This is to hide the true nature of the EU, as is the case of the so-called “employment and growth” policy or the so-called “social pillar”, which effectively represent a regression in labour rights and other social rights in countries like Portugal,, or see as positive objectives like the third pillar of the Banking Union, which continue the concentration of political and economic power.

4.The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the objectives behind the so-called “Euro reform” which, in the name of an alleged “correction” or “completion” of the Economic and Monetary Union, seeks to deepen its instruments of dominance, constraints and impositions and institutionalising mechanisms of control and dependency - like the European version of the IMF, the so-called European Monetary Fund - which further limit national sovereignty and deepen economic and social divergence between Member States. The Single Currency is confirmed as a very strong restraint on projects of sovereign development and social progress; hence it is imperative to free Portugal from submission to the Euro.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the unacceptable actions of interference to condition, in various dimensions and expressions, the will of the peoples and to contain the growing challenge to the European Union. Whether regarding the United Kingdom's exit from the EU, whether within the so-called “recommendations” of Economic Governance, or even in the context of electoral processes, multiple intolerable and gross interferences directly by the EU institutions or by open articulation of these with big business.

6. The growth of far-right forces and their access to government in several countries is inseparable from the nature and consequences of EU policies. As reality is proving, these forces do not represent a real challenge to the European Union and to the interests it expresses against big business. On the contrary, the collusion and even support of these forces to the class nature of the EU and its policies of exploitation and domination is evident.

7. The debate and proposals on the post-2020 EU budget confirm the warnings and denouncements of the PCP. Portugal is strongly harmed by a Budget that exacerbates divergence, channels more funds to the great powers and their economic and financial groups, and is increasingly used to impose and to force, through conditionality and “payment” of neoliberal reforms, policies of exploitation, privatisation, destruction of productive apparatus and economic dependence.

This is a Budget which aims to further extend the privatisation of all sectors of economic activity and social life in the European Union, and to enhance the liberalisation of common policies, as in agriculture or trade.

The cut of EU funds to the proclaimed “economic and social cohesion” - which have always been used as an alleged compensation for the damage caused by the divergence and dependence imposed by the common policies, the Single Market and the Euro – clearly shows for whom and for what the European Union serves. The significant increase in funding to fuel the militarist and securitarian aspects means a clear option for affirming the EU as an imperialist, militarist and interventionist power, with serious consequences on central aspects of Portugal's sovereignty and independence.

8. The Central Committee of the PCP condemns the attitude of the PS Government which, in convergence with the PSD and the CDS, pursues a line of national abdication, of support of the policies of the European Union and the Euro, clearly seen in the defence of the guidelines and impositions associated with the Euro or in the vote on the future composition of the European Parliament, which the BE backed.

IV. National Situation

1. The national situation highlights the need to ensure a policy that fully responds to the country's problems, reveals the possibilities of building this path if the options and constraints associated with right-wing policies are defeated and calls for the mobilisation of workers and people, democrats and patriots, to ensure in Portugal a course of progress, development and sovereignty.

2. The evolution of the new phase of national political life confirms the contradictory framework inherent to its nature.

Contradiction in the political level between the demands that the country's economic and social situation demands and the option of the PS minority government to maintain its convergence in structural areas with the PSD and the CDS.

Contradiction in the economic level between a policy of raising rights, wages and incomes that could, if assumed as strategic, ensure that the resulting economic growth was a factor of solid development and, on the other hand, the option to keep the country tied to EU impositions and its instruments of interference that limit and prevent full response to national problems.

Contradiction on the social level between the possibilities of raising living standards, promoting employment and workers' rights, reducing inequality in the distribution of income between capital and labour, responding to the social functions of the State and, on the other hand, insistence on a labour legislation favourable to exploitation and precarious employment and without rights and under financing of public services dictated by the interest paid on public debt and obsession for the deficit.

3. In these last two and a half years, albeit to a limited extent, it has been possible to take steps, which should be valued for what they represent as a result of the mass struggle and the decisive contribution of the PCP, among others: in Social Welfare, the general and extra increase of pensions in 2017 and 2018, the increase in family allowance, social protection of people with disabilities, the end of cuts in unemployment benefit; in the field of education, free textbooks for the 1st. and 2nd. education cycles aiming at their universalization; in the labour sphere, the replacement of the 4 stolen holidays, the Christmas allowance for Public Administration workers, pensioners and retirees, the 35-hour week in the Public Administration and the pension supplements for workers from companies in the State Business Sector, the unfreezing of career progression in the Public Administration, despite PS’s resistance to the corresponding salary increase, the increase of the National Minimum Wage, although insufficient; In terms of taxation, tax relief on income from work with the elimination of the surtax and the creation of two new brackets and the extension of the limit of the minimum of existence in Income Tax, the taxation of big business with the increase of the amount of state levies for companies with more than 35 million euros profit, the introduction of an additional tax on high-value property; in terms of support for economic activities, MSMEs with a 13% reduction in VAT in catering and a reduction in the minimum value of the pre-payment for self-employed with a view to its later elimination and small and medium-sized agriculture and fisheries with fuel support; as well as the reversal of the privatisation processes of Metro, Carris and STCP, which, like other measures designed by the PSD/CDS Government, were prevented.

Honouring its commitment to the workers and the people, the PCP has not wasted, or will waste, any possibility of intervening and fighting to ensure rights and better living conditions. As life shows, undoing illusions or false readings, the problems that the country faces - lack of public investment, weakening of the productive apparatus and of production, lack of control of strategic sectors and companies, among others - will only result with a break with right-wing policies and with the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing policy that has as priority goal the defence of the national interests, of the workers and the Portuguese people.

Advances that, it should be stressed, were achieved even against the will of the PS, as evidenced not only by the resistance to adopt them, but also by the use of procedures aimed at postponing, limiting or even failing to implement them, either by means of Budget captivations, delays in regulation or other expediencies.

What the present national situation shows is that the possibility of a decisive response to national problems is inseparable from the workers' struggle and the strengthening of the PCP, its political and social influence, its electoral expression and the number of MPs it has in the Assembly of the Republic.

4. Rearrangements of positions of parties, whether those stemming from whitewashing by CDS and PSD, or from realignment between the new leaderships of PSD and PS, sponsored by the President of the Republic, are part of a strategy to safeguard that the right-wing policy finds support base either through a new PS government alone or in a more or less formal alliance with the PSD and the CDS. Rearrangement of positions expressed, among other aspects, in the public agreements signed between the PS Government and the PSD on matters such as removing State responsibility and transfer of costs, namely "Decentralization" and the "Multiannual Financial Framework" which deepens the transfer of EU funds to economic groups.

The converging declarations by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister on the State Budget for 2019 and the term of the legislature, with what they entail in terms of pressure and attempt of political conditioning, constitute an exercise to try to avoid a concrete evaluation of what that document will adopt and reduce the options and general guidelines of the Government's policy regarding the Budget.

The Central Committee of the PCP stresses that the evaluation of the national political situation and the action of the PS minority Government is not limited to the strict examination of the State Budget. More importantly, it has to do with macroeconomic options subordinated to the EU and the Euro, on commitments to the interests of big business, as shown by the recent social concertation agreement, protection of monopoly capital and economic groups, as evidenced by the refusal to accept public oversight of strategic companies, continued support for private banks at the expense of public resources, or support for the aims of imperialism and NATO, areas where full convergence of PS, PSD and CDS has prevailed, in everything that is structural and determining, a free pass for right-wing policies.

5. The persistence of the PS minority government in options and policies that do not break with decades of right-wing policies maintains and exacerbates problems that mark the country's economic and social life.

The strategic sectors of the economy are dominated by national and, mainly, foreign monopolies.

The situation in CTT, jeopardizing the postal service, the closure of hundreds of post offices and the depletion of public assets; the guidelines in PT, contrary to national interest, as evidenced by the tragedy of last year's fires, both in terms of emergency communications and the non-replacement of telephone lines in many of the affected areas after a year; the situation in ANA - Aeroportos, controlled by a multinational that brutally raises costs and denies the country the increase of the airport capacity indispensable for its development; the situation in the area of ​​fuels and cartelized prices resulting from the privatisation of GALP and the liberalisation of prices; or excessive revenues in energy and the super profits of EDP – a company that is presently subject to a takeover bid - is enlightening. It reveals the costs of privatisations that jeopardize public control in strategic areas, transferring levers essential to national development abroad, and sending thousands of millions of euros in dividends out of the country, which would have been national resources. It also reveals that, unlike the role they played as public companies, they are today one of the main promoters of precariousness, exploitation and disorganization of labour and of the life of workers.

In the financial sector, draining of public money into banking, like a new injection of capital into the Novo Banco, while pursuing the strategy agreed with the European Commission in the recapitalisation process, with a view to reducing the role and of the activity of the public bank, CGD, and conditioning support to the economy, national production and families. The closing of 65 additional agencies is part of this process.

Also, the liberalization of the taxi sector, with the adoption by PS, PSD and CDS of provisions that reflect an option to favour the activity of a multinational economic group, UBER, threatens the survival of thousands of small entrepreneurs and withdraws millions from the country by way of transfer of profits abroad.

The restraint on increase of wages continues, as shown by the refusal to set the national minimum wage at 600 euros on January 1st. of this year and maintaining a freeze on wages in the Public Administration. The violation of workers 'rights persists, where the agreement between the PS Government, the employers' confederations and the UGT (already welcomed by the PSD and the President of the Republic) is of particular gravity and significance. This agreement represents answering the main demands of big business, with changes to the Labour Code of 2008 and 2013, providing new instruments to increase the exploitation and liquidation of workers' rights, maintaining the expiry of collective bargaining, refusing to apply the principle of more favourable treatment and introducing factors of legitimacy of precariousness and forms of deregulation of working hours.

The situation of inequality of women, and particularly of women workers, continues, and with the instrumentalization of their problems or the mere announcements of measures such as the Quota Law, inserted in a framework of an important ideological offensive, failing to resolve its real causes, capitalist exploitation, with its full arsenal of blackmail, repression, violation of rights, discrimination and divisionism.

Public services continue to lack workers, equipment, investment in their maintenance and reinforcement, with consequences in responding to the populations. Examples include, among others, the situation that the National Health Service faces with insufficient human resources and investment in facilities and equipment in a trend of favouring private healthcare; a poor offer in public transport, particularly in the river navigation and in the Lisbon Metro, but also the degradation of the railways; the lack of investment in culture and heritage, an example of which is the lack of support for the Arts and artistic creation.

The presentation by the PS Government of legislation on housing, despite this or that specific measure, essentially maintains the State's option not to assume the constitutional responsibilities in the promotion of public housing, aims to transfer costs to local government, insists on stimulating speculative real estate activity and refuses to repeal the Law of Evictions by Assunção Cristas adopted by PSD/CDS, maintaining the precariousness in leases.

The so-called "decentralization" process is an instrument to shake off State’s responsibility and to transfer costs to local government, with consequences for the population and universal access to constitutional rights such as healthcare, education or culture. Aims confirmed by the proposed Local Government Law by the PS Government that not only refuses to restore financial capacity after years of default, but also assumes this default for the next three years.

The multiplication of initiatives, on the pretext of the "hinterland" - movements, missions, strategies and studies - associating personalities and parties responsible for the right-wing policies that led to the deepening of asymmetries and abandonment of vast areas of the national territory, aims to conceal the real reasons which are at the root of the problems. Reasons and guidelines that are once again restated in the National Program for Territorial Planning Policies (PNPOT) presently under discussion, in the Strategic Investment Plan or in the reaffirmation of refusing Regionalisation.

6. The defence and affirmation of national sovereignty is an indispensable condition for economic development and social progress. At a time when, under the pretext of the reform of the Euro, there is a new leap in the neoliberal, federalist and militaristic dynamics of the European Union, which undermines national independence and the inalienable right to sovereign development, has become more important to assert national interest.

The proposal for a Multiannual Financial Framework continues a process which, in the name of EU funds, has driven the country to abandonment of production and dependence, making its situation vulnerable in the context of a European Union in which Portugal deepens a course of economic and social divergence. The rhetoric of PS, PSD and CDS, criticising this proposal by the European Commission, runs counter to its real support for all structural elements of the Financial Framework - such as options on military and security expenditure to the detriment of cohesion funds and the CAP.

7. The solution to the national problems, meets no answer from PS, PSD and CDS.

No propaganda can conceal reality:

  • the defence of rights and the valuation of workers 'wages is not compatible with bonding with the interests of big business and employers' confederations that unites PS, PSD and CDS;
  • the preparation of the country in the face of negative and unforeseeable developments at the international level - raw material prices, interest rate increases, conflicts of variable size, natural phenomena - is not compatible with the degree of dependence and external exposure of the country launched by PS, PSD and CDS;
  • the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the country, whether it is the revitalization of the rural world and the fight against depopulation, or the response to problems of cities and especially of metropolitan areas, is not compatible with the options of decades that unite PS, PSD and CDS in a convergent and continuous process;
  • full compliance with constitutional rights in healthcare, education, social security, housing or culture is not compatible with the Euro and EU impositions on which PS, PSD and CDS are in agreement;
  • preparing the country to overcome structural deficits and affirming a sovereign policy to offset the blackmail of “markets”, which implies channelling the margin of economic growth to areas such as investment, the defence of national production and the strengthening of public services, is not compatible with the diversion of large sums to be consumed in interest of an unsustainable public debt as upheld by PS, PSD and CDS;
  • the answer to national problems and the demands of a sovereign development is not compatible with subordination to the EU, the Euro and other instruments of external domination that unite PS, PSD and CDS.

The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the fact that the answer to national problems is incompatible, as reality shows, with the country's subordination to the European Union. The primary Budget surplus of thousands of millions euros the country produces (estimated to be more than EUR 5,500 million in 2018) are devoured by the public debt service to the benefit of financial capital, which prevents the channelling of these resources for development. The 35 thousand million euros that the country will spend on debt interest until 2022 are lacking in financing and investment in healthcare, education, social security, culture or transport to which the Portuguese are entitled. The more than 2 thousand million drained every year for PPPs or the more than EUR 1.2 thousand million spent on ruinous swaps are taken away from the State and from its responsibility to serve various areas.

It is not, as the PS government says, and the recent PS congress has amplified, a matter of rhythm, a step-by-step path or the claim, given the accumulation of problems and the absence of answers, of not being possible to do all at once. It is rather the option that unites PS, PSD and CDS to guarantee everything and quickly to the EU, the ECB, the “markets” and the monopoly capital to the detriment of what is due to the workers and the people.

8. The country needs clear answers and measures to face problems and to give them solution.

Answers that, right now, gain expression, in particular, in the following plans and measures: of labour legislation, eliminating its grievous norms; of wages, ensuring its general increase, including in the Public Administration, and the National Minimum Wage, setting it at 650 euros on January 1st. 2019; the increase of public investment and the financing of public services and social functions of the State, with priority for healthcare, education, public transport and culture; reinforcing social protection and aid, continuing the extra increase in pensions, ensuring the restoration and universalization of the family allowance, fulfilling the commitment to pensions without penalty for workers with 40 or more years of payments, extending the social payment for inclusion, strengthening the rights of people with disabilities; of the repeal of the law of evictions; of the support to micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs, namely with the legal compliance of ending on January 1st. of the Advanced Special Payment for self-employed; the reversal of PPPs, whether in healthcare, transport, roads and other areas; of fiscal policy, taxing movable assets, profits and dividends, and cutting down on labour income; effective support for culture, arts and heritage; of restoring 6% VAT on electricity and gas; support for family farming, forest management and protection, and the rural world; the implementation of measures to respond to the consequences of last year's fires; of the effective reinforcement of means for Civil Protection and, in particular, of the Firemen's Corporations.

The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the Party's determination to reject pressures and constraints in the face of threats of electoral rescheduling, its full independence of judgment and decision, and its objective to continue intervention in order to guarantee new advances that meet the aspirations and rights of the workers and people.

9.The Central Committee of the PCP emphasizes essential aspects of the evolution of the political situation that will be present in the intervention right now and in the future.

The current political situation confirms the decisive role of the struggle of the workers and the people and the intervention of the PCP, both to resist and to defend, recover and conquer what some considered impossible.

The defence, restoration and achievement of rights have not only proved indispensable for the improvement of living conditions, but also constitute a decisive factor for economic growth and job creation.

The advances achieved are the result of the intervention of the PCP and of the mass struggle. Advances that a PS government, under different circumstances, would not adopt, as it never did before.

But the current situation also highlights the persistence of serious national problems as a result of decades of right-wing policy that persist and worsen with the PS's position not to break with this policy and its class options.

In a correlation of forces that would enable meeting the problems of the country, this is not possible because the PS and its government, in convergence with the PSD and the CDS, confirm their commitment to the interests of big business and its submission to the impositions of the Euro and the European Union.

As the last parliamentary elections have made evident, the decisive issue is the election of deputies to the Assembly of the Republic and what results from their distribution by the various parties and not the choice of the prime minister.

The central issue facing the country is the necessary break with the right-wing policy, regardless of whether it is carried out by the PSD and CDS, or by the PS, alone or not, and the construction of a political alternative. This can only be achieved through the decisive strengthening of the PCP and of its influence.

The PCP affirms itself as the driving force of a patriotic and left-wing policy, necessary and indispensable to the country. A policy that breaks with exploitation, impoverishment, decline and dependence, and assures a Portugal with a future, developed and sovereign:

  • A patriotic and left-wing policy that liberates the Country from submission to the euro and from the impositions and constraints of the European Union;
  • A patriotic and left-wing policy that defends the renegotiation of debt, the recovery for the country of what belongs to the Country - its resources, its strategic sectors, its inalienable right to development and job creation - that ensures the right to healthcare, education, culture, housing, social protection, transport;
  • A patriotic and left-wing policy, which necessarily means putting Portugal to produce, with more agriculture, more fisheries, more industry, to create more wealth and to distribute it better, supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • A patriotic and left-wing policy of valuing work and workers, their wages and their individual and collective rights, the retired and pensioners, ensuring the necessary social support.

It is this path, it is this alternative of the future that Portugal needs, it is for this policy, for the advanced democracy with the values of April in the future of Portugal, that the PCP fights and will fight.

V. Mass struggle – decisive factor

1. The Central Committee of the PCP underlines and welcomes the scale, intensity and diversity of the struggle in recent months and the expression of determination and strength it contains.

During this period, the commemorations of the 44th.anniversary of the April Revolution were reflected in a great popular mobilisation that was inseparable from the depth of its achievements and values, and the May Day, with demonstrations and meetings promoted by CGTP- IN throughout the country, which was a powerful affirmation of the strength of the workers in defence of their class interests.

The Central Committee of the PCP also emphasizes, due to its size and combativeness, the national demonstration of June 9 called by the CGTP-IN in defence of a policy that values work and workers, with tens of thousands of workers participating.

The Central Committee of the PCP also highlights the commemorations of March 8, International Women's Day, in particular the National Women's Demonstration, called by the Movimento Democrático das Mulheres (MDM), held on March 10, the commemorations of the Student Day (March 24) and of the National Youth Day, namely the National Demonstration of Working Youth called by CGTP-IN/Interjovem, held on March 28, as well as the 23rd. Piquenicão organised by MURPI, on June 3.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP emphasizes the broad and diversified process of struggle that has developed in the last months in the claiming action in companies, workplaces and sectors.

A struggle carried out by the workers in defence of the rights and for better wages, improvement of the working conditions, against precariousness, in defence and application of collective bargaining, against the deregulation of the working hours and the imposition of the hour bank, better pay for overtime work, in defence of professional careers, against a single agent [on buses and trains], against dismissals and also for a quality investment in transport, for the return of companies to the public sector, in defence of the postal and telecommunications public service.

A struggle which had an important expression, among others, in the public passenger transport sector, Soflusa, Transtejo, IP, CP, EMEF and EVA; in the maritime and port sector; in the postal and telecommunications sector, in CTT and in PT/ALTICE contact centres; in the water and sanitation sector, in several companies of the Águas de Portugal Group; in the electricity sector, in the EDP contact centres; ; in the electrical and electronic equipment and metallurgy sectors, Efacec, PREH, Tegopi, Bosch; in the petroleum sector, in Petrogal; in the glass industry, in the company Gallovidro; insurance at the Fidelidade contact centre; in the hotel, food and beverage sector, in Carnes Nobre, Sumol/Compal, COFACO, Servirail and canteens; distribution and logistics; in the textile sector; in the cleaning and security sector.

A struggle of Public Administration workers - public administration, healthcare, education, justice, security forces, military, local government and others - for the restoration of rights, against precariousness of labour ties, in defence of the 35 hour-week for all, for a full counting of the length of service (in which the Teachers’ National Demonstration stands out) and the defence of the careers, hiring of professionals in shortage, increase of wages. A struggle of scientific research scholarships to replace scholarships by work contracts and for their integration into the research career of Public Administration.

The Central Committee of the PCP also values the struggles carried out in various parts of the country by artists and other cultural workers against the lack of support from the government and an unfair model of support for the arts and social and labour rights.

These struggles have not only been able to halt the advance of the offensive against the rights of workers, but also have won victories, such as wage increases, reduction of working hours or the integration of precarious workers.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP also highlights the struggles of the population: in defence of public services, against the closure of branches of Caixa Geral de Depósitos bank and of CTT post offices; in defence of the National Health Service, to ensure primary healthcare, lack of family doctors and the closure of departments and services in the NHS; in defence of public passenger transport and improvement of quality and safety; against the payment of tolls in the ex-SCUT [motorways free of tolls for users]; for the upgrading of roads; in defence of more and quicker support for the victims of fires.

4. The Central Committee of the PCP points out the need to develop the mass struggle, the struggle of workers for a general increase of wages, including for Public Administration workers, the National Minimum Wage of 650 euros in January 2019, against deregulation of work shifts , for a maximum limit of 35 hours of work per week for all workers, against precariousness, ensuring that a permanent job corresponds to an effective employment contract, better working conditions, extension of the right to holidays, against dismissals, better unemployment benefits and repeal of grievous aspects of labour legislation.

But also the struggle of the populations and of all the anti-monopolist strata, for specific objectives and in defence of public services and of the social functions of the State.

In the immediate future, the Central Committee of the PCP stresses the importance of developing the struggle against the draft legislation by the PS Government, resulting from the agreement signed by it with the employers' associations and the UGT in Social Concertation, and just now the concentration called by the CGTP- IN for July 6, in front of the Assembly of the Republic, the day the Government scheduled for its discussion, with the support of the PSD and CDS for its approval.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP emphasizes the importance and salutes the success of various actions in the field of mass movements and broad mass organisations, namely the 21st. National Meeting of Workers' Committees on June 8 and the 8th. Congress of the CNA [Farmers’ Confederation] on April 15, and calls for a contribution to the success of the 10th. MDM Congress, which will take place on October 27 and the 9th. MURPI [Retired, Pensioners and Elderly] Congress, on November 25.

The Central Committee of the PCP appeals to the intervention of the communists in the activity and reinforcement of mass movements and organisations and in the struggles that they will carry out, as a decisive contribution to the development of the mass struggle, but also to the expansion of convergence of the various anti-monopoly sectors and social strata of democrats and patriots in the struggle for a patriotic and left-wing policy.

VI. Initiative and strengthening of the PCP

1. The Central Committee of the PCP emphasizes, in a period of great demand, strong political intervention of the Party, the contribution it has made to the development of the mass struggle, in conjunction with the work to strengthen the organisation.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP underlines that, in the present context, there is a powerful ideological offensive against the organised struggle of the workers and people and, in particular, against the Portuguese Communist Party, betting on the silencing, discrimination and manipulation, led by economic and financial groups that today own the main media (increasingly centralised, concentrated and controlled), with their ideological production centres and the political forces that defend their interests.

We should also point the promotion of widespread operations of alienation as well as the promotion of reactionary and fascist conceptions which are propaganded and tolerated, encouraging the practice of violence and intimidation.

With the "values" of the dominant ideology, they intend to define a single thought that influences the awareness and action of the masses according to the interests of class domination of big business while, at the same time, using caricature, intoxication, silencing or even criminalisation, to diminish or undermine the role of those who are fighting for an alternative and, in particular, the determining role of the PCP. It is an operation directed against the PCP, in order to attack its project, objectives and values, trying to convey the idea that the parties and politicians are all alike, in order to discredit alternative options and solutions, with the consequent appeals, explicit or implicit, to individualism, to the detriment of collective action, to conformism and resignation to lead to the acceptance of the policies of dominant values and back down.

In the same way, they resort to political instrumentalization, namely with the calculating and demagogic exploration of subjects of the occasion, using lies and caricature of positions and encouraging anticommunist prejudice.

Such were the campaigns focused on topics brought up for discussion, such as the legislation on party financing, "surrogate mothers", the liberalization of cannabis growing, selling and use, with the pretext of its use for therapeutic purposes, the provocation of the conscious anticipation of death (euthanasia), the instrumentalization of animal welfare, and the systematic use of the attempt to intimidate and criminalise the positions of internationalist solidarity.

3. In this context, the PCP acted, resisted and took the initiative. In the intense action of the Party, we highlight the campaign "Valuing workers - Strengthening the PCP", the defence of public services which included the National Meetings of the PCP on the situation in Education and Healthcare and the actions on the right to housing, culture, public transport, the rights of children and youth and pensions and reforms. And also, the meeting on the situation and problems of the MSMEs, initiatives on forests and the rural world and on food sovereignty, together with intense institutional activity in the Assembly of the Republic, the Regional Legislative Assemblies, the European Parliament and in Local Government.

The celebrations of the 87th. anniversary of Avante! and the 97th. anniversary of the Party were of particular significance, with hundreds of initiatives involving many thousands of Party militants and friends.

Also noteworthy during this period is the ongoing work for the strengthening of the Party, in particular the holding of many assemblies of the organisations, including 11 assemblies of regional organisations.

We also highlight the initiatives already held on the celebrations of the Second Centenary of the birth of Karl Marx under the motto "Second centenary of the birth of Karl Marx - legacy, intervention, struggle. Transforming the world», in particular the Conference held on February 24 and 25, in the Voz do Operário, the Evocation Session of the 170th. anniversary of the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” April 6 in Almada and the May 5 in Penafiel.

4. The Central Committee of the PCP points out the need to continue and broaden the scope of the political initiative that is inseparable from the contribution to the development of the mass struggle.

And so, the Central Committee of the PCP defines, among others, the following actions:

The continuation of the campaign "Valuing workers. More strength to the PCP", for more wages, jobs with rights, decent working hours, better working conditions and repeal of grievous norms of the labour legislation;

The development of initiatives to defend the social functions of the State and public services, in particular the National Health Service, Public Schools, Social Security, culture, transport and housing;

The fostering of intervention based on initiatives and proposals to guarantee the rights of children and youth, the necessary conditions for the parents to have the children they want, ensuring their fulfilment and happiness and the future of the country, under the motto "Children and parents with rights. Portugal with a future“;

The promotion of the rights of pensioners, retired and the elderly, which assumes the increase of life expectancy as an achievement of the whole society and guaranteeing the necessary social conditions and human valorisation;

The promotion of measures for a balanced development of the country, which includes the defence and valorisation of agriculture and the rural world;
The holding on November 24 of a major initiative on the country's situation and the necessary answers for development and sovereignty, showing the imperative of the patriotic and left-wing alternative for a Portugal with a future.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP stresses that the preparation of the 2018 Avante! Festival, to be held on September 7, 8 and 9, in Atalaia, requires a strong commitment from the organisations and militants and the participation of all those who feel the Festival as their own. The work of disseminating and selling the EP [Entry Pass], together with the construction work, the implementation of content and the preparation of its functioning, is of great importance for its success.

6. The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the importance of the implementation of the Central Committee Resolution of January 20 and 21 on
The strengthening of the Party represents an urgent task. The implementation of the Central Committee Resolution on strengthening the Party is a priority which, being inseparable from mass struggle and political intervention, implies dedication, attention and willingness, and requires reconsideration of other tasks.

To this effect, stand out due to their impact on the strengthening of the Party: the measures of leadership, giving responsibilities to cadres and political and ideological formation; the strengthening of organisation and intervention in companies and workplaces, in particular the action of 5,000 contacts with workers to bring them to the Party, continuing to gather names and in particular complete the contacts; distributing the new Party member cards and the practical affirmation of the Party's working principles. These aspects are inseparable from all of the above-mentioned guidelines, namely recruiting and integrating the new militants, fostering and strengthening local organisations, working with specific social sectors and strata, promoting and disseminating the party press, own resources and financial independence, and the holding of assemblies of party organisations.

★★★

In times marked by uncertainties, dangers and potentialities, the Central Committee of the PCP points out, with confidence in the workers and the people, the development of the mass struggle and the strengthening of the Party as the necessary path for the defence of peace and development and of progress, of the construction of the patriotic and left-wing alternative, of advanced democracy with the Values of April in the future of Portugal, of Socialism and of Communism.

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