Statement by João Ferreira, Member of the Central Committee, Press Conference

On the Conclusions of 17 and 18 March European Council

On the Conclusions of 17 and 18 March European Council

1 – The Conclusions of the European Council, that ended yesterday, have a double and grave meaning.

On one hand, they reflect the depth of the crisis in and of the European Union, the accumulation of elements of desegregation, the consequences of common policies and the inexistence or inefficiency of paths or measures that may resolve the deepening contradictions.
On the other, they configure an unacceptable reactionary drift that affronts international law, accentuates the imperialist character of the process of integration, levels the propaganda on humanitarian, democratic and solidarity rights, and fosters the nationalist, racist and xenophobic agendas of the European continent.

2 – The conclusions on economic issues, the European semester and the priority action domains of the Annual Growth Survey confirm the inexistence of answers and solutions to the deep economic and social crisis that continues to affect the generality of member-States. Reaffirm the guidelines for the elaboration of national programs of reform and programs of stability or convergence that, under the guise of “structural reforms” and “responsible budget policies”, aim to deepen labor deregulation; impose policies of low wages; take too far the processes of monopolist concentration of strategic sectors and pursue the privatization of public services and of social functions of the State, such as Social Security.

3 — Given the economic stagnation, the instability of the banking and financial sector and the latent deflation – confirmed by the successively ineffective recent decisions and measures of the ECB – the Council insists on a path of Deepening the EMU and the Common Market. The same path that brought us here and whose consequences are visible. Indeed, the Council itself recognizes the seriousness of the situation in several productive sectors.

4 — The situation in the milk and pig sectors confirm the complete bankruptcy of the current Common Agricultural Policy. As PCP alerted, the consequences of the end of the dairy quotas are here, with heavy responsibilities by the successive governments of PS, PSD and CDS. The infamous “soft landing” resulted, as we foresaw, in a genuine disaster.

The European Council, in reaffirming the conclusions of the Council of the Agriculture Ministers leaves a clear message to the dairy and pig producers: little or none is being done to defend their legitimate interests. The option of liberalization and deregulation is maintained and the approved measures are either provisional – some mere promises – or pass the costs of the reduction in production onto the National Budgets and producers.

5 — The conclusions regarding the so-called “policy of migrations”, in particular in response to the refugee drama, assume special gravity. The decisions of the European Council confirm the continuation of a inhumane and cruel policy, before humanitarian dramas that are the direct result of the interventionist action of the EU, in articulation with the US and NATO, in the African continent and the Middle East.

Given the grave humanitarian crisis, the European Union consolidates Fortress Europe, promotes the criminalization and expulsion of refugees and migrants, in clear violation of international law, deepens the military reponse to the drama of those that flee from extreme poverty, hunger and military confrontation, enclosing them in the sinister circle of war that victimized them.

A militarization of the response to humanitarian issues that has its peak in the presence of NATO in the Aegean Sea, which will count on the collaboration of FRONTEX and the Turkish forces, to repeal, by force, persecution, intimidation and aggression, the waves of vessels that try the crossing, including in the last days attempts to sink vessels with people on board.

There are increasing efforts to achieve and implement a European Coast and Borders Guard that will act on the sea and land with the same aim. A response that the Portuguese Government unacceptably subscribed along with the remaining decisions of the European Council, contradicting the positive signs that it has been sending regarding the plan of accommodation of refugees and abdicating an additional element of national sovereignty.

The closure of the migratory routes in the Balkans, in Greece and in Turkey foresee a change in the crossing to the Central Mediterranean, a scenario that, articulated with the reigning militarist vision, will increasing foster criminal networks of human trafficking, open new illegal routs and predicts new future tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea.

Those that, even so, manage to reach European soil will be subjected to humiliating procedures of data collection, registration and security checks, aimed at expulsion. The policy of migration that is now systematized does not recognize nor rights nor choices of refugees and disrespects basic international law principles, including conditioning right of asylum to criteria of refugee national origin.

The agreement celebrated with Turkey is well illustrative of the hypocrisy of the EU and the total absence of basic values of respect of human and democratic rights that, beyond the commitment of 3 billion euros, is waved with the joining of Turkey to the European Union as a counterpart to serve as a buffer state retaining in its territory and within its borders, the waves of refugees.

The cold hypocrisy is taken to the limit in the so-called 1:1 agreement, which beyond the evident discriminatory elements constitutes, above all, a cover-up for a policy of mass deportations to Turkey.

6 – The conclusions of the European Council accentuate the need for a profound reflection about the present and future of Europe and underline the need and urgency of a rupture with the exhausted process of integration that is increasingly marked by policies of economic and political domain, of social and civilizational regression of growing attacks to democracy and people’s sovereignty.

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