Statement PCP Central Committee

Communiqué of the Central Committee of the PCP of May 28, 2019

The Central Committee of the PCP, having met on May 28, 2019, evaluated the work carried and the results of the European Parliament elections held on May 26, analysed the national situation and the development of the struggle, and pointed out lines of work for the immediate future, particularly for the October 6 Legislative Elections and the struggle for the alternative.

I - No going backwards. It is necessary to move forward

The situation of the country and its evolution has, among others, as salient features: the set of advances in the replacement, defence and achievement of rights, gained in the new phase of national political life, with the mass struggle and with the decisive intervention of the PCP; the persistence of many of the problems of the workers, the people and the country, resulting from submission to the rules and impositions of the Euro and the EU and the interests of big capital; the whitewashing of the responsibilities of PS, PSD and CDS in the implementation of the right-wing policy, which brought the country to the difficulties it still faces today; and the actions of the most reactionary sectors aimed at attacking the PCP, using lies, slander and defamation, and calling into question democracy itself. A reality that the results of the elections to the European Parliament do not change.

The manoeuvre attempted by the PS, with the threat of a political crisis, reveals its ambition to resume its decades-long path of promoting a right-wing policy without restrictions.

The great issue that is posed to the workers and the people is to move forward and not go backwards. Move forward for the confirmation of the rights achieved. Move forward to answer the most pressing problems of the population. Move forward for the valorisation of work and workers. Move forward in the defence of the country's interests and national sovereignty.

The development of the struggle and the claiming action of the workers and people and the action and reinforcement of the PCP are the most solid guarantees of progress in the struggle for a break with right-wing policies, for a patriotic and left-wing policy and for a political alternative to materialise it.

II - The elections to the European Parliament

1. The election of two MEPs in the European Parliament elections of May 26, 2019, in which the CDU obtained 228 054 votes and 6.9%, will continue the remarkable work that the PCP carries out in the European Parliament in defence of the workers, the people and the country. An important representation that will embrace all the struggles for social justice, progress, sovereignty, cooperation and peace.

The result obtained by the CDU, which meant a reduction of its vote in these elections, is detrimental, in the European Parliament, to the defence of the interests of the workers, the people and the country and does not correspond to the atmosphere of support shown during the campaign and the recognition consistently expressed of CDU’s work in the European Parliament and the decisive contribution of the PCP and PEV (The Ecologist Party “The Greens”) to the improvement of the living conditions achieved over the last three and a half years.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the fact that by reading the results in a mechanical comparison with those of 2014 - where, as we all know, the CDU had obtained the best result of the last 25 years while the remaining forces the worse, or worst, they ever had - is an exercise that aims to extend the manipulative action in line with what has been seen over the course of months.

The election of two MEPs corresponds to the number of MEPs elected in 1999, 2004 and 2009, when the number of national mandates was 25, 24 and 22 respectively, when now it is only 21.

The analysis of the CDU result cannot be seen without considering two fundamental elements: that the political, economic and social conjuncture of the 2014 elections was marked by the implementation of the Pact of Aggression, a period when the perception of the role and consequences of the impositions of the European Union on the country were felt particularly clearly; the weight resulting from the intense devaluation of its intervention and work, the promotion of prejudices and meticulous action to downplay the campaign and electoral prospects of the CDU.

The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the intense and endless anti-communist campaign carried out by the centres of monopoly capital and its instruments, starting with the media. A campaign based on lies and slander, aimed at attacking the proven conduct of honesty and competence that is recognised; the exploitation, to the point of irrationality, of anticommunist prejudice, either in the manipulation of positions of the PCP, or in the spreading of stereotypes, aiming to attribute to PCP’s stands that its background, practice and project do not allow; to the use in this campaign of attitudes and public intervention of Party members against the Party; the persistent editorial line of media based on the CDU's belittling, be it through derogatory opinion or prejudiced comments, or by the obsessive presentation of the CDU as a force in decline, in clear contrast with the obvious promotion of others, through treatment of image, comment and opinion always flattering and overrated.

A guideline and option that is understandable since it is the CDU, for what it represents and defends, that monopoly capital and the most reactionary sectors fear as an obstacle to their projects of submission of the country and liquidation of workers' rights.

3. The results of the PSD and CDS prove that, despite all the efforts made by these parties to erase their responsibilities for the serious consequences of their policies, the country keeps alive the memory of what their governance represented in the liquidation of rights, cuts in wages and pensions, increase of exploitation and impoverishment.

The achievement by the PS of a voting that enabled it to be the most voted force, benefiting in part from the advances and positive measures that resulted, to a large extent, from the intervention of the PCP and the PEV, does not conceal the well-known convergence between PS, PSD and CDS of submission of the country to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union, the same options and the same identity of arguments regarding the deficit and the debt, or the dictates of the directory of powers that, at the service of transnational capital, commands the capitalist integration of the European Union.

The result of the BE (Left Bloc), portraying an electoral growth, following a very low voting in 2014, is still below the electoral result and the three MEPs it won in 2009.

PAN (Party of People, Animals and Nature) has essentially benefited from the populist exploitation of a variety of subjects and from their amplification by the media.

4. The Central Committee of the PCP salutes the candidates and the thousands of activists who erected the campaign of explanation and mobilisation being the decisive factor in building the result of the CDU.

The defence of the interests of the people and the country in the European Parliament would require a strengthening of the CDU. But if these elections were of undeniable significance, the October Legislative Elections will be a decisive moment to determine the course of national political life and the life of the Portuguese people for the coming years.

This result should be a wake-up call for all those who have the power to decide whether they want to move the country and their lives forward, or if they want to risk going back and losing what was won in rights, wages and pensions and jeopardise the response to national problems.

It is necessary to increase support to the CDU in order to be able to weigh more decisively in national political life as an indispensable force to respond to national problems. This is the option that the workers and the people have to make in the near future: that of, with their support, strengthening the CDU and to make a decisive advance to respond to the country's problems or, without it, to see the country and their lives walk backwards.

5. The results of the elections held in every country for the European Parliament - which are generally marked by high abstention - in addition to the specificities resulting from the different national situations, reflect a significant loss of positions of social democratic and right-wing parties who have been responsible for leading the process of European capitalist integration and its neoliberal, federalist and militarist model. This loss was, however, accompanied by the increase and realignment of various forces - including the far right - which do not represent just any or effective alternative to the European Union and its policies.

The assertion of far right forces in some countries is inseparable from the nature of the European Union and from the consequences of its policies. The EU is not only not an antidote to the populist and fascistic virus that germinates, as are its policies of attacking rights, intensification of exploitation and social regression, disrespect for sovereignty and democracy, promotion of reactionary and anti-democratic values which feed and give rise to political space for these forces, which are often used to whitewash the class character of EU policies and to promote the political forces which are responsible and conniving with them.

The PCP is committed to furthering the experience of cooperation of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/ NGL) of the European Parliament, confirming fundamental principles of its functioning, which are a prerequisite for ensuring the current and future role of the Group - like its confederal nature; decision-making by consensus; equality between its delegations and respect for their differences; their autonomy and own distinctive identity vis-à-vis other political groups in the European Parliament and other structures or spaces of cooperation.

III - The national situation

1. The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the salient features of the national situation.

The advances achieved over the last three and a half years in favour of the workers and the people, as a result of their struggle and the persistent action of the PCP, where improvements in wages, pensions and living conditions have been a factor of growth of the economy and of employment.

The persistence of problems resulting from decades of right-wing policies that do not find a necessary response, particularly in terms of investment and valorisation of public services, owes its responsibility to the PS minority government and its option of submission to the EU and Euro.

The action implemented from the decision-making centres of big capital and the instruments at its service to whitewash the responsibilities of the right-wing policy pursued by PS, PSD and CDS in the last decades, as brutally worsened by the previous PSD/CDS Government.

The intensification of the offensive by the more reactionary sectors to recover space and time lost in the agenda of intensification of exploitation, liquidation of rights and subversion of democracy, which they saw as inevitable; the instrumentalization, in some cases of justified discontent, as well as the promotion of provocative operations to attack and discredit the public services and social functions of the State; or the creation and enhancement of racial, generational and other conflicts to foster a sense of unease, such as the instrumentalization of environmental concerns, are traits that are present and condition the national political life.

2. The PS Government's manoeuvre, to blackmail with the threat of an artificial political crisis, using the time of service of special careers, is in itself inseparable from the current political framework and political and electoral manoeuvring of the PS to face this, reveal three questions that cannot be concealed: that the PS, having a margin and possibilities to do so, will not hesitate to evoke impositions and constraints of the European Union instead of responding to the problems of the workers, the people and the country; that not only will it not be by the hand of the PS that the path of advances in defence, restoration and achievement of rights will continue, showing that what has been achieved runs the serious risk of regression; that, as was once again clear, it is in convergence with PSD and CDS that the PS finds support for all measures contrary to the interests of the people and the country.

As the PCP has stressed, the new phase of national political life has not altered either the nature or PS’ project bound to the essential aspects that have shaped right-wing policies. The PS has not changed, what changed were the circumstances and the elements of political and institutional framework. It is from these circumstances that the PS wants to free itself in order to pursue without constraints the policy that for more than forty years determined its positioning.

3. If the recent time has shown that it is with the workers' struggle and the intervention of the PCP that it is possible to advance, it is clearer that it is with its reinforcement, and only with its reinforcement, that lies the condition to give a full and structural answer to national problems and to prevent going backwards in what has been achieved.

Achievements which include: the replacement of several stolen rights, such as wages, holidays, the right to transport of railwaymen and retirement supplements to workers in the state business sector; the increase of the National Minimum Wage, although below what is necessary and possible; the replacement of collective bargaining instruments in the Public Business Sector and the elimination of restrictions on the hiring of workers in Local Administration; the reversal of the privatisations of Carris, Metropolitano de Lisboa and STCP and, although partially, of TAP; the end of pension cuts and their extra increase over three consecutive years; the valuation of family allowances, the extension of prenatal allowance and support for people with disabilities; extending protection to the unemployed by creating support for the long-term unemployed and eliminating the cut in unemployment benefit; the reinstatement of the right to full payment of the Christmas allowance; the valorisation of long contributory careers and the improvement of the conditions of access to retirement of mine and quarry workers; in the Public Administration, the restoration of the 35-hour week, and the generalisation of its application, and the right to career advancement, with the corresponding salary and measures to combat precariousness; the hiring of employees in schools, the reduction of tuition fees and the reinforcement of aspects of School Social Action; the cut in NHS co-payments, the increase in the hiring of doctors and nurses, the reduction of costs with medicines, the inclusion, as an objective, of the expansion of new vaccines in the National Vaccination Plan, the setting of commitments for the construction of new hospitals; the free access to museums on Sundays and public holidays and the resumption of programmes for their valorisation, more support for the arts and artistic creation, admission of valorisation and support for the Cinemateca Portuguesa and the National Archive of Moving Image, the reduction of VAT on shows and musical instruments, creation of the National Museum of Resistance and Freedom in Peniche, whose installation is under way; the Income Tax relief on incomes from work, specially on lower and intermediate incomes, with cuts in taxes and the creation of two new tax brackets and the extension of the minimum of existence, as well as the elimination of the Income Tax surcharge; the reduction of energy prices; the reduction of VAT on catering and the elimination of the Advanced Special Payment by the self-employed; guarantee of support for family farming, cut in fuel costs for farmers and fishermen; the cutback in benefits for real estate funds, taxation of high-cost real estate with the introduction of the Municipal Tax surcharge, and the increase in taxation on large profits through the increase of the Corporate Tax.

Achievements whose importance and impact on the immediate life of the Portuguese is shown with particular clarity in the gratuitousness of textbooks in the 12 years of compulsory schooling, covering more than a million and half children and young people, taking a step further in guaranteeing access to education under conditions of equality, and the extension of the Intermodal Travel Pass, with the reduction of its price, guaranteeing a significant extension of the right to mobility, with positive impacts in terms of the environment and imports of the country.

The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the importance of fully implementing all the measures set out in the State Budgets and other legislative decisions, guaranteeing the means: for free textbooks, more transport offer, answering the increased demand that the reduction of the price of the passes enhanced, the complete unfreezing of careers of public administration workers, investments in public services, or the extension of the National Vaccination Plan.

4. Confirming basic options of the PS and of its Government, the submission to the impositions and constraints of the Euro and the European Union is a major obstacle to the implementation of a sovereign development policy capable of responding to the problems of the workers and the people. Options also present in the submission to the interests of big capital, translated, among other aspects, in the channelling of public resources to support its abuses.

In this context, the Stability Programme for 2019/2023, which the PS Government has presented and submitted to Brussels for its prior approval, confirms the choice of the IMF’s “recommendations” and threats, and of the EU, confirms its option to tie the country a deficit trajectory, which imposes unacceptable low levels of investment and funding of public services, channelling to service the debt all the budget surplus, which are indispensable resources for development. An option, fully accompanied by PSD and CDS, which insists on the perpetuation of submission to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union, and the interests of large economic groups, pushing the country towards foreign dependence, social inequalities and injustices and economic stagnation.

The insufficient response to more pressing problems in different fields, being inseparable from these options, overturns the theories on which the PS insists of making compatible the needs of the country and the submission to the criteria and budgetary targets of the European Union.

In a context in which years of underfunding and brutal cuts in public services, imposed by the PSD/CDS Government, required a more determined investment in order to respond to the needs of the National Health Service, public schooling, culture or transport, what we find is the PS Government’s refusal to do so of its own choice.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP warns of the mystification associated of using the "correct accounts" argument and the deficit, whenever public investment, rights and wages, hiring of needed workers in public services, or the answer to pressing social problems, an argument that is never invoked when it comes to channelling tens of thousands of millions of euros in direct support to banks and financial capital, as was again the case with the Novo Banco, to cover the holes of corruption and continue to feed speculation and concentration in the financial sector.

The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the campaign which, in the context of favouring big capital, in particular the PSD and CDS have underway, on the so-called "tax burden" or "too many taxes" to hide the fiscal injustice they support, a campaign whose aim is to reduce further the taxes on big capital, thereby calling into question the sums necessary to respond to the problems of the workers and the people. What is needed is to ensure a fiscal policy that reduces taxes on workers, pensioners and retired and small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and increases taxation on big capital, profits and dividends, high value assets, financial transactions. A fairer fiscal policy capable of ensuring the funding of public services and the investment of the State for the materialization of the constitutionally consecrated rights and for the development of the country.

6. The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the profound class content present in the ongoing debate in the Parliament on the amendments to the Labour Code. The Government Bill intensifies precariousness and increases exploitation and does not revoke the grievous norms, namely the expiry of the Collective Contracting, nor does it restore the principle of the most favourable treatment [of the workers]. The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the converging position of PS, PSD and CDS, which always stands out when class interests of big capital against the workers are at stake.

7. At a time when some hypocritically try to pretend to distance themselves from the multiple cases of scandalous stimulus to fraudulent activities, under the pretext of arrogance and impunity revealed by Berardo [speculator with huge debts to the banks], the Central Committee of the PCP stresses that this case is only an expression of this larger network that the subordination of the political power to economic power, is itself inseparable from the privatisation process that PS, PSD and CDS have promoted for decades. A policy of favouring monopoly capital, with bonuses for big capitalists, as shown both by the inadequate conclusions of the parliamentary inquiry commission on overcharges in the energy sector and by the continued allocation of tax benefits and debt write-offs of millions to economic groups.

The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the ongoing operations of destabilisation and discrediting of democracy and of the democratic regime that, from right-wing parties and extreme right-wing forces, centres and instruments at the service of monopoly capital feed the idea of chaos, based on a supposed lack of authority to justify security measures and limitation of freedoms; agitate the inadequacies of the State structures they themselves created to cover up the consequences of right-wing policy; seek to link corruption with democracy and "politics" in abstract, hiding that it is inseparable from privatisations and the subordination of political power to economic power. An operation which, accompanied by the whitewashing of fascism, aims to create an environment conducive to populist and fascist conceptions that make room for reactionary and anti-democratic projects.

8. The Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance, in this framework, of the significance and national dimension of the commemorations of the 45th Anniversary of the 25th April Revolution for what they represent in terms of identification with the values of April and what they project as reference for a project of sovereign development and social progress. The Central Committee of the PCP values, in particular in this scope, the inauguration of the 1st. phase of the National Museum of Resistance and Freedom in the Fort of Peniche, for which the PCP made a decisive contribution, marked by an important popular parade promoted by URAP - Union of Resistant Portuguese Antifascists.

The Central Committee of the PCP also values the dimension of the masses, the combativeness and determination and confidence that marked the great day of struggle of May 1st. promoted by the CGTP-IN.

IV - The 2019 elections and the struggle for the alternative

The Central Committee of the PCP points out that, as it has said, national problems have no answer in right-wing policy, tied to the constraints and impositions associated with the Euro and the capitalist integration process of the European Union, which limits national sovereignty and hinders the development from the country.

The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the importance of the Elections to the Assembly of the Republic (AR), on October 6, and underlines the decisive option that is put to the workers and populations - to move forward and not go backwards - and of the Elections to the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (ALRAM), on September 22.

The Central Committee of the PCP warns of attempts to impose a path of political, economic and social regression, as evidenced by recent pressures and blackmail from the PS, and in the tactical realignments of the PSD and CDS. Manoeuvres articulated with the centres of big capital, whose aim is clear: to change the current correlation of forces, to reduce the capacity of intervention of the PCP and the PEV and to allow the PS to remain completely free to carry out a policy contrary to the interests of the workers, the people and the country.

The Central Committee of the PCP underlines, as confirmed in the legislative elections of 2015, that the issue is the election of MPs to the Assembly of the Republic and that it is in the increase of the number of MPs elected by the CDU that lies the most solid and indispensable condition for advancing to respond to the national problems with the implementation of an alternative, patriotic and left-wing project and policy.

The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the need to take further the affirmation of the central role of the Party and of the mass struggle in the restoration and achievement of rights, many of them with the opposition of the PS and which by their hand would never be fulfilled. Measures that, although limited, mean improvements in the living conditions of the workers and populations, but which do not solve the structural problems facing the country.

The Elections for the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, scheduled for September 22, are of particular importance. Overcoming the intense campaign of mystifications already under way, either by distorting the objective of the election, or by creating a forced bipolarisation, eluding the identity of positions of the PS and PSD also in the region, the strengthening of the CDU is the guarantee of a intervention in defence of the rights of workers and people and of social progress and economic development in Madeira.

The Central Committee of the PCP warns that, as was obvious in the battle for the European Parliament, the forthcoming electoral battles will be fought against a backdrop of a strong ideological offensive, intensifying the silencing and distortion of the Party's action and message. This requires an intense battle of explanation, both in what needs to be stated and demonstrated, and in what we are forced to deny and dismantle.

The Central Committee of the PCP calls on Party and JCP members and all CDU activists to engage, as they did in the electoral battle of the European Parliament, in political and mass action based on talk and direct contact, in sessions, street talks, actions at entrances of companies and in workplaces and other places of gathering, mobilisation for support to the CDU, decisive factors for its strengthening and its number of MPs, a decisive aspect for the workers and the people to move the country forward on the road to a future of social justice, progress and sovereign development.

It is for the materialisation, straight away, of an intervention that affirms the indispensable role of the CDU and its reinforcement that it is necessary to focus energies. Either by affirming what the CDU represented for all the advances achieved, or by the affirmation of an alternative policy, patriotic and left-wing, and the political alternative that gives rise to a government to achieve it.

A patriotic and left-wing policy that, inseparable from the struggle to materialise the alternative that supports it, places at the heart of its options: the country's liberation from submission to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union and the renegotiation of the public debt; the valuation of labour and workers, of rights, wages, pensions; the defence and promotion of national production and productive sectors; ensuring public control of banking and of all the basic and strategic sectors of the economy; support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the cooperative sector; the guarantee of an administration and public services at the service of the people and the country; a policy of fiscal justice; the defence of the democratic regime and the compliance of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic; a justice accessible to all and the fight against corruption.

It is in the hands of the workers and the Portuguese people, their action, their struggle and their vote, the decision to break with the right-wing policy and build a Portugal with a future.

V - The development of the mass struggle

The Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance of the development of the mass struggle in recent months, with a particular incidence of workers in the most varied sectors.

The struggle carried out in hundreds of companies and workplaces on specific demands, culminating in the National Demonstration promoted by the CGTP-IN for repealing the grievous norms of labour legislation and against the amendment of the Labour Code, on April 11; in the National Demonstration of Public Administration on May 10; in the celebrations of the 45th. Anniversary of April 25, which confirmed the strength of the April values; and in the grandiose day of struggle of May 1st. promoted by the CGTP-IN in dozens of places.

The Central Committee of the PCP also values the set of actions by the populations in defence of the valorisation of the public services in transport, the National Health Service, Public Schools.

The Central Committee of the PCP recalls that the restoration of rights taken away in years of attack against the April achievements, the defence of rights achieved and the conquest of new rights continue to be inseparable from the development of struggle and claiming action, for a general increase in wages for all workers and for a National Minimum Wage of 850 euros, against deregulation of working hours, better working conditions, against precariousness, against changes in labour legislation and against Government proposals, under debate in the Assembly of the Republic , to intensify precariousness and exploitation.

VI - The initiative and strengthening of the Party

The Central Committee of the PCP salutes the Party's organisations and militants for the outstanding intervention that guarantees fulfilling the Party's role in a very demanding situation, facing campaigns of slander, silencing and manipulation, promoting the clarification of the positions and project of the Party, encouraging the mobilisation of workers and populations, ensuring the success of the commemorations of the 45th. anniversary of the 25th. April and the great May 1st. working hard to build the result of the CDU in the elections to the European Parliament, continuing the action to strengthen the Party.

The Central Committee of the PCP, in view of the current situation, points out priority elements of the Party’s intervention:

The holding of organisation meetings and plenary sessions of militants, of rallies, namely on June 1 in Setúbal; June 2 in Lisbon; June 8 in Oporto; and a national action of explanation and propaganda, beginning on June 14, under the motto "It is necessary to move forward. More strength to CDU. "

The preparation of the Elections for the Assembly of the Republic, a great national political battle of the masses, as well as for the elections for the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

The intervention for a general increase of wages for all workers, including the increase of the National Minimum Wage to 850 euros. The demand for repeal of grievous norms of labour legislation and the fight against changes for the worse that the PS, in convergence with the PSD and the CDS, seeks to adopt in the Assembly of the Republic.

The defence of public services, namely: the consolidation of the reduction of the price of social travel passes throughout the country and the guarantee of more means of transport; the defence and valorisation of the National Health Service; the defence of public Social security; the materialisation of the right to education with the defence of public schools, including the implementation of free textbooks and the reduction of tuition fees in higher education; measures to support children and parents.

The preparation of the Avante! Festival which will be held on September 6, 7 and 8, in Atalaia, Amora, Seixal, ensuring an immediate attention to all aspects of diffusion, promotion and sale of the EP (Entry Card), preparation of spaces and initiatives in the Festival and its construction, ensuring the mobilisation for work days, as well as for all the other tasks of the Avante! Festival.

The continuation of the work of strengthening the Party within the framework of the guidelines and priorities defined in the Resolution of the Central Committee of January 2018, in particular with regard to leadership work, the accountability of cadres, the increase in militancy, the practical application of the principles of the functioning of the Party, the handing of the new Party member card, strengthening the organisation and intervention of the Party with the workers in companies and workplaces, in particular the Action five thousand contacts with workers

These priorities are part of the immediate response to the needs of the intervention and aim of the overall objective of strengthening the Party to fulfil its role in the future.

***

The PCP, honouring its 98-year old path of intervention and struggle in favour of the workers, the people and the country, in whatever circumstances, will rise to the construction of the patriotic and left-wing alternative, an advanced democracy with the values of April in the future of Portugal, for the struggle for socialism and communism.

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