Statement PCP Central Committee

Communiqué of the Central Committee of the PCP of June 27 and 28, 2020

The Central Committee of the PCP met on June 27 and 28 to analyse the international situation, in the European Union and the national situation, to evaluate the developments of the mass struggle and the intervention of the PCP, namely regarding the preparation of the XXI Congress and the Centennial of the Party.

I - The international situation

1. The evolution of the international situation confirms PCP’s analyses on the heightening of the contradictions that mark the development of capitalism in the context of the deepening of its structural crisis.

The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the possibility of unforeseen events and vast operations by imperialism that, under the pretext of the current situation marked by the Covid-19 epidemic, aim to settle contradictions and overcome impasses and difficulties, namely in the context of the relative decline of main imperialist powers.

Special mention should be made of operations under development aimed at increasing the exploitation of workers with the introduction of additional instruments of exploitation and precariousness in labour relations; the restriction of rights and freedoms under the pretext of fighting the virus and guaranteeing an alleged “security”; the establishment of renewed forms and instruments of imperialist domination, namely through the mechanism of indebtedness and centralisation of “recovery plans”; the development of new lines of capitalist accumulation, namely through the instrumentalization of real social and environmental problems and the appropriation of achievements in science and technology; the development of various ideological operations to whitewash and recover capitalism, on the “humanisation of capitalism”, “reindustrialisation” or the theses of “a new order” dominated by the “union of democracies” and “a world government” to face “new threats”.

The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the various campaigns of misinformation and manipulation, as well as the actions of confrontation in the economic, political and military fields, promoted by North American imperialism, which aim, in particular, to conceal the serious internal problems in the US and to counter the decline of its hegemonic dominance, and which pose great dangers for international peace and security.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP condemns the continuation and intensification of militaristic and aggressive actions against several sovereign countries, namely in the Far East, Middle East and Latin America. It particularly condemns the series of provocations and the intensification of the strategy of confrontation, threat and blackmail against China and the Russian Federation; the continuous actions of interference and aggression against Venezuela and Cuba; the actions of aggression against Syria and Yemen and provocation against Iran, among others.

Reiterating PCP's solidarity with the Palestinian people, their national cause and their inalienable right to an independent and sovereign state, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, the Central Committee of the PCP strongly condemns the Israeli Government's aim to annex about one third of Palestinian West Bank territory, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.

3. Stressing the peril of NATO’s military exercises "Defender Europe 20", which is openly aggressive, and expressing PCP's frontal opposition to the participation of Portuguese military in these exercises, the Central Committee of the PCP reiterates its criticism of the Portuguese government's foreign policy that , through active collaboration or complicit silence, follows a line of subservience to imperialism, contrary to the national interest and the defence of the principles contained in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

In a framework of great instability and uncertainty, in which an offensive continues with the aim of disrupting the international order resulting from the outcome of World War II, the Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance of defending International Law and the principles of the United Nations Charter - namely the defence of the sovereignty of States, the principle of non-aggression, non-interference and peaceful resolution of international conflicts - and reaffirms the need to intensify the struggle for peace, against militarism, imperialism’s aggressions and blackmail.

4. Saluting the workers and the peoples who all over the world rise in important actions of struggle for social and labour rights, for equality, against racism and violence, the Central Committee of the PCP expresses in particular its solidarity with the people of the US, victim of policies of exploitation, oppression and discrimination and of great inequalities and injustices presently heightened.

The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the Party's long-standing commitment to the fight against all forms of oppression and discrimination, against colonialism, racism and xenophobia - which the historical experience of the Portuguese communists attests -, and underlines the need to continue this fight. The Central Committee of the PCP warns of ongoing attempts to instrumentalize the racial issue to mask deep class contradictions, to foment divisions and conflicts between those who are exploited and oppressed and to promote the forces that feed on racism and xenophobia or do not question their underlying reasons. It stresses that the fight against racism, xenophobia, the extreme right and fascism is inseparable from the struggle against class exploitation and oppression, against the system of imperialist domination and the overcoming of capitalism.

5. In a particularly demanding and complex framework, with important events that can determine the course of Mankind in the coming decades, the Central Committee of the PCP stresses the role of the international communist and revolutionary movement, the importance of the convergence of progressive forces in a broad anti-imperialist front and the struggle for the construction, through different paths and stages, of the alternative to capitalism - socialism and communism.

II - The situation in the European Union

1. The situation in the European Union, marked by a deep economic and social crisis heightened by the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic, is inseparable from imbalances, injustices and problems arising from its own policies and nature.

The set of decisions taken by the institutions of the European Union - determined essentially by the interests of its main powers and big capital - confirm the imperialist nature of the integration process.

Despite the blockages and contradictions that remain in the integration process, the Central Committee of the PCP warns of ongoing attempts at new steps in the processes of concentration of capital and centralisation of political power, of the increase of exploitation of labour, of conditioning democratic freedoms and rights and of the affirmation of the EU as an imperialist bloc, articulated, despite contradictions, with US imperialism.

2. The magnitude of the economic crisis and widespread opposition forced the great powers - especially Germany - to go beyond the measures initially announced. However, measures such as the so-called “recovery fund” do not mean any change of course. Riddled with hypocrisy and financial and political manipulations, and trying to take advantage of the funding needs of the States, such measures do not cancel the line of debt, and essentially aim at increasing the drain of public resources for monopolies, namely from the main economic powers, and taking steps to increase the transfer of parts of national sovereignty to the supranational sphere, which, if implemented, would mean one of the most serious developments in the process of capitalist integration since the creation of Economic and Monetary Union.

Confirming the relations of inequality that characterise the EU, the revised Budget proposal for the period 2021-2027 is cut by 3% compared to the proposal announced two years ago which, in itself, implied a cut compared to the current budgetary framework. At the same time, it is foreseeable that Portugal will see its contribution to the Budget increased, with consequences on the balance of transfers to the country - thus committing itself to the necessary and effective growth of the funds receivable through this way -, at the same time countries like the Netherlands could benefit from cuts on their contribution.

3.The reinforcement and expansion of the European Central Bank's debt purchase programme in the secondary market, revealing the extent of the problems and the enormous vulnerabilities associated with the debt levels of several States, is simultaneously a clear expression of the option to support large financial capital, in contrast to the persistent refusal of direct funding to States, without the intermediation of the financial system.

As regards the “recovery fund”, the Central Committee of the PCP underlines that the amount that is presented as a “non-refundable fund” is only a loan taken by the European Commission, which is guaranteed by the European Union Budget, and which will have to be repaid, with interest, by the States, by means of future and additional cuts in the funds to which each State will have access, and/or by means of the blackmail already underway for the creation of “European taxes” in the framework of the “Fiscal Union” project.

Sooner or later, repayment needs will be a pretext for triggering new taxes on several States, in the name of draconian "adjustment paths" to the budgetary objectives and the debt reference values imposed by the EU. A glimpse of this is already possible in the most recent recommendations by country issued by the European Commission.

4. At the same time, the set of measures under discussion are associated with the criteria of the “European semester”, with “an ambitious reform plan”, with a further deepening of the single market, with the privatisation and concentration of public services - including in healthcare services - the rearrangement of production chains and the funding of major projects linked to the so-called “digitalisation” and the instrumentalization of environmental issues, aligned with the interests of big capital, with new ranks of capitalist accumulation and with the priorities of the great powers.

Such steps, if implemented, would mean additional attacks on economic sovereignty and a serious abdication of tax revenues; an increase in the country's debt; an even greater external dependency; additional constraints and impositions and a deepening of the asymmetries and divergences that characterise the capitalist integration process.

This framework and the measures under discussion – which includes the political and ideological operation of the “Conference for the future of Europe” - place an even greater urgency on the need for convergence in the fight against the impositions and constraints of the European Union and the country's liberation from submission to the Euro, articulated with the renegotiation of public debt.

III - The national situation

1. The situation in the country is marked by the prospect of a deep economic recession, by the threat of closure of thousands of micro, small and medium-sized companies, by the surge in unemployment, the loss of wages for hundreds of thousands of workers, the deregulation of working hours, the situation of precariousness and the attack on other rights, requiring short and far-reaching measures and options that are not conditioned by the interests of economic and financial groups and the impositions of the European Union.

The class options of the PS government, the revanchist action of the PSD and CDS and their proxies, serving the class interests of big capital, not only do not respond to national problems, but, will deepen deficits and structural problems accumulated by decades of right-wing policies, will tend to aggravate the consequences inherent in the current situation.

2. The economic and social impacts of the epidemic and its use by big capital continue to demand urgent measures and responses that the PCP has been fighting for, both to ensure the defence of 100% wages, employment and rights; or to guarantee support to make viable the micro and small companies faced with the reduction or even the forced cessation of their activity; or to expand social support, namely for unemployment, and to ensure the means of subsistence for all those who have been left without such means; or to provide the National Health Service with the necessary capacity to respond to immediate healthcare needs and to reinforce the level of response required to guarantee healthcare in general.

Proposals and solutions that, in general, the government and the PS did not want to adopt, and for which the PCP will continue to fight so that the necessary response is given, not only in the short term, but also at a broader structural level, to meet the serious problems facing the country.

The Supplementary Budget presented by the government constitutes, in the dynamics of its provisions, an instrument of an even more marked inequality and injustice in the distribution of national income between capital and labour. The measures to favour big capital, with the extension of the period for reporting tax losses, the acceptance of public support to companies based in tax havens, new benefits in terms of Corporate and Income Tax, the establishment of mechanisms and incentives for the concentration of capital , support for the so-called resumption of activity with the prolongation of the lay-off and incentives to keep working with new and significant transfers of public money, contrast, regardless of one or the other measure of social support, with the insistence on the devaluation of wages and other pay, in prolonging the cut in wages to hundreds of thousands of workers and in a clear insufficiency of public investment to boost activity and create jobs.

A Budget proposal that does not include proposals that the PCP has been fighting for, from the outset the payment of wages at 100% and the prohibition of dismissals, but also, support for the income of micro entrepreneurs and self-employed entrepreneurs, support for managing partners, the improvement of the conditions of access to the Social Unemployment Benefit and the Social Income, the support of 438.81 euros for the independent workers who were left without any income - some of whom were even identified in the Economic and Social Stabilization Programme -, above all revealing a clear option to favour the interests of capital.

The PCP will continue to intervene in the specialised debate of the Supplementary Budget so that it can insert responses in terms of the demands that the economic and social situation poses. The more than fifty proposals it presented aim to contribute to this objective, namely, in the field of wages and jobs, the strengthening of the NHS, support for micro and small companies, and of support and social protection.

The Economic and Social Stabilization Programme, to which the Supplementary Budget gives expression, proves that the government remains bound to a policy that neither responds to the seriousness of the situation, nor does it lay the foundations for a Portugal with a future.

3. Without prejudice to short-term solutions, it is necessary to guarantee a policy that fully responds to the issues that are at the root of the structural problems and deficits that the country has as a result of decades of right-wing policy and that the current situation has exposed with great clarity.

The situation experienced in recent months has shown the importance of maintaining and reinforcing the public nature of crucial areas, in order to guarantee quality and universal access to fundamental rights and services, such as Healthcare, as well as the role of public Social Security; to guarantee, through the ownership and management of public companies, the existence of economic and financial instruments to contain and reverse the deterioration of the national situation; to progressively subordinate production and economic activity to social objectives, instead of maximising the profits of monopoly groups.

The current situation of TAP calls for action to be taken to ensure public control, assuming the sovereign decision to defend and develop a flag carrier that responds to the country's needs, rejecting EU impositions that, associated with the company's recapitalisation, aim at its handing to foreign capital and the destruction of the company as such. The Portuguese government cannot accept being responsible for disfiguring TAP, reducing it to a mere branch of any foreign airline.

The debate around Banco de Portugal and its future governor, reduced to controversy over criteria of incompatibility, aims to elude the real problem: that the country does not have a real Central Bank, reduced in fact to a branch of the European Central Bank, subordinated to the Euro and the Banking Union, without sovereign powers.

The current reality has made even more evident the central role of national production - diversified, balanced, articulated and technologically advanced - to replace imports, ensure domestic supply and exports, achieve food and energy sovereignty and as a basic condition for deciding, guaranteeing and implementing the sovereign options appropriate to the development of the country.

National production is necessary to defend sovereignty. And sovereignty is necessary to guarantee and promote national production.

The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the projects that, in the name of an urgent response in the economic and social field, aim at a full resumption of essential pillars and options that have marked the right-wing policy.

In particular, it denounces the scale and aggressiveness of the operation against the NHS, undertaken by the economic groups that make disease a business, sustained on the political and ideological level by the right-wing political parties.

When the NHS's irreplaceable role is recognized today, the ongoing operation takes advantage of delays in the treatment of other pathologies, namely with the integration of a significant part of the NHS units in the strategy to combat Covid-19, to demand the transfer of thousands of surgeries, complementary diagnostic tests and treatments to private groups, with the resulting drain of hundreds of millions of euros from the NHS budget. It is significant that the PS government has decided to keep the current ones and to concede new PPPs in Healthcare, including in the field of clinical management, with the resulting increase in favour of the monopolistic groups that operate in the sector.

What is now needed is not to call into question the capacity of the NHS to respond to the needs of the people in administering healthcare, but to implement measures for its reinforcement, contemplated in the Emergency Plan presented by the PCP in the Assembly of the Republic.

In this context, with regard to the development of the Covid-19 epidemic, requiring in-depth answers to all structural questions, what the situation requires is taking preventive and mitigating measures for the disease - namely in terms of workplaces, housing and transport -, to do, at all levels, the education of the need for protection and to promote the dynamization of economic and social, cultural and sporting activities, leisure and socializing, which are fundamental for life, health and well-being.

4.The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to developments that, at the political and ideological level, have followed the evolution of the epidemic outbreak:

  • Alerts to the process of rearrangement of political forces set in motion, in which the current President of the Republic has endeavoured to whitewash the PSD, the right-wing policy and its responsibilities, with a view to promoting its political rehabilitation and bringing it back to a role of intense cooperation with the PS, which seeks to ensure the conditions for the so-called “central bloc” policy, formally or informally assumed, that has marked the country in recent decades;
  • Recalls the manifestation of the projects and the action of reactionary forces and sectors, in which PSD, CDS and their proxy parties are actively inserted, aiming to question the democratic regime and the Constitution of the Republic. An action that, taking advantage of the Government's limited responses to burning problems, seeks to open the way for questioning the role of the State and the social functions that are committed to it. An action that, with the sponsorship and diffusion of media groups, has known in the promotion and instrumentalization of violence and racism, in the encouragement of social segregation and in the criminalist and vigilantist drift, most visible expressions of a reactionary and fascistic dimension;
  • Denounces the operations of big capital and the forces that defend their interests to call into question advances achieved by the workers' struggle and the action of the PCP in recent years, and to promote setbacks and the worsening of exploitation;
  • Stresses the ideological operation to lead to capitulation and acceptance of inequalities and injustices, which seeks to exacerbate fears, to condition the right to enjoy essential aspects of life such as culture, sport, or leisure and to condemn the right to resistance or to political and trade union activity, laying the ground for new attacks on rights;
  • It also highlights the intensification of the offensive and anti-communist slander campaigns that aim to isolate the PCP, in a context in which it is in its intervention that they identify the main and most decisive obstacle to the projects of intensifying exploitation, expanding injustices and impoverishment and subversion of the democratic regime enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP considers that the holding of regional elections in the Azores next October constitutes an important moment for, due to the increased support for CDU, to reinforce the intervention in defence of the rights of the workers and populations of the Azores, of regional development and cohesion and affirmation of regional autonomy within the framework of the unitary State.

6. The nearness of the elections for President of the Republic has been marked not by what this election represents regarding the nature of the functions and the role of that body of sovereignty, but mainly by aspects of media coverage of possible candidacies whose objective is marked by personal ambitions, populist drives or projects aimed at rearranging the political and institutional framework beyond what these elections represent.

Valuing, as it always has, the importance of the sovereign body President of the Republic, as guarantor of the defence and compliance with the Constitution of the Republic, the Central Committee of the PCP decides to submit its own candidacy to the 2021 presidential elections, to give voice to the April project and values, defending the rights of the workers and people and affirming social equality and justice and national sovereignty and independence.

7. Once again it has been proved that the PCP was and is right. What the current situation requires us to recognize is that, if the PCP's proposals had been considered, and above all the alternative policy that it proposes, the country would today be better prepared to face this and other hardships and to grow and develop.

The fundamental response that the country's situation requires is inseparable from the implementation of an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, which includes, among other aspects: the valorisation of work and workers, of their wages, rights and careers; the strengthening of the National Health Service in human and material resources, as well as of most public services; a strong business sector of the State, a fundamental component of a mixed and dynamic economy, which contributes to the modernisation of the productive apparatus; public control of the financial sector, public ownership and management of most banking; the defence of agriculture, fishing and national production, capable of supplying the country; the decisive strengthening of public investment and productive investment, which increases the application of new technologies, installed production capacity, national productivity and production; the defence of national sovereignty, affirming the right of the Portuguese people to act without dependencies or conditionings, refusing the imposition of constraints; the demand for the recovery of monetary sovereignty and a policy adjusted to the reality, needs and potential of the national economy, with a central bank serving the country; the need to renegotiate the public debt; the need to protect the environment, ecosystems and biodiversity; the implementation of an independent and accessible justice for all, the fight against corruption, the defence of the democratic regime and the compliance of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

IV - The development of the mass struggle

1. The past few months have shown not only the centrality of work and workers, but also the importance of the development of the mass struggle to resist projects of regression and destruction of rights and to guarantee their defence and expansion.

2. Each of the advances made in the new phase of national political life, despite being limited by the PS government's options of submission to the interests of economic and financial groups and the dictates of the EU, is being called into question by big capital and reactionary sectors of Portuguese society at their service.

In this context, the Central Committee of the PCP values the struggle that have been carried out.

The struggle of workers who, following May Day - a moment of great importance, due to its organisation, readiness and strength -, carried out in defence of employment, wages, rights and working conditions, standing out among which are the actions of the workers from the Sines Industrial Complex, of Culture, transport, hospitality, electrical and metallurgical industries, commerce, social institutions, Central and Local Administration, nurses, CTT, Casa da Música, of RTP workers with precarious link, EDP contact centres, Randstad, Panasqueira mines, SUCH, Euroresinas, Lauak, Lactogal, Continental Mabor, EGF/Mota Engil Group, DHL Logística, Risto Rail Portugal, Casa Aleixo, Cervejaria Lusitânia, Vilanova Resort, Hotel Beta.

A struggle in which the set of actions carried out in companies and workplaces and on the streets is particularly valued, in the context of the Week of Struggle promoted by CGTP-IN between June 22 and 26.

Also the struggle of the populations in defence of the NHS, highlighting the action in defence of Hospital dos Covões, in Coimbra.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP, stressing that rights are defended by exercising them, including the right to demonstrate, the right to strike and the exercise of trade union activity in companies, calls for the development of the struggle in defence of all rights, which cannot be called into question with the excuse of the epidemic outbreak, and the fight against injustices and inequalities, affirming the objectives of fighting for the general increase in wages and the valorisation of careers and professions, against deregulation and for the reduction of working hours, the fight against precariousness, for better working conditions, as well as the repeal of the grievous norms of labour legislation, and in particular the expiry of collective bargains and the replacement of the principle of more favourable treatment for workers, for the strengthening the NHS, in defence of the Public School, free and of quality, for the right to free cultural creation and enjoyment, for the right to public transport and housing.

V - The intervention and strengthening of the Party, the preparation of the XXI Congress

1. The Central Committee of the PCP values the Party's action, with the intensification of the functioning of the organisms and organisations, the expansion of the intervention, the steps taken to strengthen the organisation, the progress of the Party's Centennial celebrations and the preparation of the XXI Congress.

It is worth highlighting the materialisation of the action of contact and information for workers as part of the campaign “Valorising work and workers. No to exploitation”, the action of defence and valorisation of the National Health Service and the day when the Emergency Programme proposal for the SNS was announced, the line of actions and contacts addressed to micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs and the set of initiatives under the motto “Not a single right less. Confidence and struggle for a better life”, which is highlighted by the rally held on the June 7, at Alto do Parque Eduardo VII, in Lisbon, with great participation, organisation, discipline and combativeness, affirming the strength of the PCP and its project , at the service of the workers, the people and the country.

To be highlighted is the contribution of the communists to the development of the mass struggle, their action in local government bodies in solving the problems of the populations, including in the support and response during the most acute phase of the epidemic, the action in the Regional Legislative Assemblies, in the Assembly of the Republic and in the European Parliament, intervention in internationalist solidarity, in the fight against racism, for peace, against aggression and war.

Also to be highlighted is the development of the celebrations the Centennial of the PCP under the motto “Freedom, Democracy, Socialism. The future has a Party”, with the debate “The PCP - organisation, unity and struggle of the workers” that started the Cycle of Debates included in the Centennial programme.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms as lines of work for the coming times: the contribution to the development of the struggle of workers and populations; intervention to strengthen unitary mass movements and organisations; the stimulation of the initiative and political intervention with the continuation of the line of initiatives “Not a single right less. Trust and struggle for a better life”, stressing the action to be carried out on July 5, in Porto, the action with workers, micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs, in defence of public services, the right to housing, solidarity, peace and disarmament, and the preparation of the elections for the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Azores and for President of the Republic.

3.The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the importance and significance of holding theAvante! Festival on September 4, 5 and 6, 2020 and calls on Party organisations and militants and friends of the Festival to commit themselves to the tasks necessary for its success. Its project, its functioning, its diversified programme, which in terms of shows will be centred on Portuguese music, are distinctive elements to be valued

This year the Avante! Festival, as it always has been, will be the greatest political and cultural event in the country and, in the current concrete conditions, it assumes an even greater importance. The 2020 Avante! Festival, taking the appropriate health protection measures and inserted in the pedagogical dissemination of prevention and protection that continues to prevail, is a great affirmation of the stimulus to activity, culture, art, sport, socializing, leisure, political intervention, solidarity, the enjoyment of life, today essential to the health and well-being of the population.

4. Valuing the progress in strengthening the Party's organisation, the Central Committee of the PCP points out the need to implement the guidelines set down in the scope of the Party's Centennial, namely: to enhance and expand of the functioning of the organisms and organisations; in the measures of leadership, cadres and financial support; in terms of work with the working class and workers, in companies and workplaces, integrating the new militants recruited in the scope of the action of 5,000 contacts and after its end, taking advantage of the availability of many workers contacted and others that need to be contacted, advancing the materialisation of giving responsibilities to 100 new cell leaders and the creation of 100 new cells; boosting recruitment with widespread appeal and specific lines, namely by sectors and companies; in the reinforcement of the structures and work of propaganda, systematizing, consolidating and expanding the positive experiences that are noted; in the promotion and diffusion of the party press; in guaranteeing the Party's financial independence, among other aspects, paying attention to the update of dues, the holding of initiatives, the reinforcement of the structure and financial control and the dynamization of the National Campaign of Funds “The future has a Party”.

The Central Committee of the PCP underlines the understanding, acceptance, adhesion and support that the National Campaign of Funds is having and points out the need to continue making commitments, to increase the number of comrades to make conversation and to boldly expand contacts with the Party members, as well as with friends, democrats and patriots who recognise the path and the necessary, indispensable and irreplaceable role of the Portuguese Communist Party.

5.The preparation of the XXI Congress of the PCP, to be held on November 27, 28 and 29, 2020, under the motto “Organise, Struggle, Advance. Democracy and Socialism”, is of particular importance. The Central Committee of the PCP registers the completion of the first phase of the preparation of the Congress which, regardless of the constraints imposed by the situation that is experienced, had a large number of meetings and the contribution of many Party members. The contributions of this first phase, materialised from the topics referenced in the Resolution of the Central Committee, enrich the reflection and the work of elaborating the Theses-Draft Political Resolution.

The Central Committee points out the need for the leadership bodies to start reflecting on the planning of the third phase of preparation of the Congress, from the end of September, in order to ensure the maximum involvement and participation of the Party members.

The Central Committee of the PCP adopted the criteria and the process for the elaboration of the list of the Central Committee to be chosen by the XXI Congress. The Central Committee of the PCP, considering the experience of leadership work, should maintain its characteristics, namely, with regard to its competences and dimension, assuming that it may have a small reduction. The Central Committee should maintain a large majority of industrial workers and office employees, with a strong working class component. The Central Committee should include Party cadres - functionaries and non-functionaries - with responsibilities in leadership work, comrades from companies and workplaces, leaders or activists of mass organisations and movements, who stand out in various areas of national life. The natural renewal must bear in mind a composition that combines the participation of experienced cadres with giving responsibility to young people, as well as to women.

The process of preparing the list must, in accordance with the Party's identity, nature and functioning principles, ensure a wide consultation, in a rigorous work corresponding to the importance and role of the Central Committee, inserted in the conception of collective leadership work, as an organism which leads the Party's activity between congresses.

★★★

In view of the complex times, fraught with dangers and uncertainties, but also with the potential for the development of mass action and struggle, with the Party’s Centennial being celebrated, the Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the commitment of the Portuguese communists to the workers , the people and the homeland, with the struggle for the defence of rights, for new advances and achievements, for the materialisation of the patriotic and left-wing political alternative, for the advanced democracy with the values of April in the future of Portugal, for a society without exploiters or exploited - socialism, communism.

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