Release from the PCP Press Office

On the ECOFIN decision and blackmail of the European Union against Portugal

On the ECOFIN decision and blackmail of the European Union against Portugal

The decision of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union (ECOFIN) to continue the "excessive deficit procedures" against Portugal constitutes an unacceptable attack on the rights and living conditions of the Portuguese people, an affront to national sovereignty, to democracy as enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution and the will of the Portuguese people.

Referring to the period between 2013-2015 and the 2015 State Budget, what this decision shows is that to the European Union and its institutions everything serves to impose the policy of exploitation and impoverishment, including the economic consequences of the policy that the European Union had established with the PSD/CDS government that this decision now apparently wants to sanction.

It is thus clear that the ECOFIN decision is, above all, yet another step in the process of blackmail and external interference against Portugal and its people which aims, as the PCP has denounced from the beginning, to reverse achievements and progress made in recent months, place at the centre of the debate the policy of impoverishment, exploitation and submission of the previous PSD/CDS government, and condition the debate on the future, namely the State Budget for 2017.

The PCP underlines that this process has absolutely nothing to do with concerns about the health of the economy and national public finances. It is a political and ideological process, executed by the decision centres of economic power and the directory of powers led by Germany, through the EU institutions, with the active collaboration in Portugal of PSD and CDS. Its main goal is to try to destroy or condition all that in terms of achievement, progress and hope was built in recent months based on the will of the people and through democratic dialogue.

As the PCP always warned, what is truly at stake is political pressure – of which the sanctions are just another tool - to once again impose the policies of the past which caused and continue to cause much suffering to the Portuguese people. And so, the PCP considers that the Portuguese Government cannot yield to blackmail, cannot accept the policies and "plans" that, under the pretext of the so-called "zero fine", are now attempting to impose.

The European Union has just confirmed, with this decision, the insistence on the same paths that have dragged Portugal and, in general the European continent, into a situation of deep economic and social crisis, whose political consequences are in sight.

It is now up to the Government and the Portuguese institutions to defend the interests of the people and the country and take all measures to meet this objective, including, in the opinion of the PCP, the untying of Portugal from the "Budgetary Treaty" and the proposal to hold an intergovernmental conference for the repeal of this and other Treaties that spin the web of blackmail being used against Portugal.

This decision is a further demonstration of the EU strategy: trying to create the idea - in different ways and using various mechanisms of interference and domination it has in its hands – of the impossibility of people being able to define, based on their sovereign will, alternative paths of development. However, the reality is showing that this strategy is not only doomed to failure and enhances the lack of legitimacy of the European Union, making even clearer the insoluble contradictions of capitalist integration.

The PCP reiterates its position that the development of a policy that upholds the interests of the workers and people, the national interest, implies a rupture with the impositions and external constraints of the European Union. This process of blackmail confirms that the Euro and the policies associated with it are truly contrary to national interest, hence the PCP believes that Portugal should prepare and be prepared to break free from the constraints that affect the development and progress of the country and attempt to keep it chained to a vicious circle of submission, impoverishment, indebtedness and blackmail.

The PCP calls on all democrats and patriots to join in the rejection of political blackmail and external interference that Portugal is being subjected to. The unity of the Portuguese people in defence of their rights and national interest can defeat the process of imposition, however powerful they may seem.