Statement by João Ferreira, Member of the European Parliament and of the Central Committee of PCP, Press Conference

On the European Council of December 13th and 14th

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While confirming deadlocks and contradictions that mark the present situation of profound and protracted crisis of the European Union, the discussions, decisions and directions indicated by the European Council continue the deepening neoliberalism, militarism and federalism of the EU and contradict the interests of workers, people and the Country, and the other peoples of Europe.

In Portugal, what the reality and situation of the Country confirm is need not to reinforce the severe constraints and impositions associated with the Euro and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), a direction indicated by the conclusions of the European Council, but to affirm national sovereignty and independence, indispensable for a project of sovereign development and social progress, based on an alternative patriotic and left-wing policy.

What is necessary is not a continued submission to a catalogue of Euro and EU budgetary and macroeconomic impositions —themselves generating inequality and divergence—, but the liberation of the country from these impositions and ensuring the necessary means and instruments to overcome its problems.

1. Regarding the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, the contradictions made evident in the European Council —which determined the postponement of its approval until the Autumn of 2019— did not, however, call into question the objective of reducing the budget for 'economic and social cohesion', namely in structural funds, and the financing of the Common Agricultural Policy, which under the proposed format will harm mostly countries like Portugal.

The discussion in the European Council and the ongoing work in the European Council —elaboration of the EU funds regulations and programs post-2020 — confirm a budgetary option for the EU that isn't orientated towards supporting the resolution of problems and the differential needs of each country, but rather to serve the interests and priorities of the main EU powers and their large economic and financial groups, including the increase in military and security expenditure.

For Portugal, the unacceptable perspective that results from the ongoing discussion is that of less funds and more severe constraints on their use.

PCP reiterates that the proposal for 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework is unacceptable for Portugal and considers that maintaining the principle of unanimous decision on this matter is crucial, principle that some seek to call into question. Unanimity is an essential instrument in the defense of Portugal's interests, so the Government should not relinquish this instrument.

2. Along with the perspective of reduction in EU budgetary funds attributable to countries like Portugal, the European Council also discussed the reinforcement and deepening of two of the main drivers of growing inequalities and divergences within the EU, which harm countries like Portugal: the Single Market and the EMU/Euro.

The EU funds never compensated, nor could they compensate, the negative impacts of the Single Market and EMU/Euro upon the country. But a cut in EU funds and the simultaneous deepening of the Single Market and EUM would translate, consequently, into added and unacceptable damage and difficulties for Portugal and into greater inequalities and divergence within the EU.

3. As part of the discussion about the deepening of the Single Market, the European Council once more defended the advancement of the ongoing processes of liberalization in several sectors, such as energy and digital, deepening the market liberalization at the EU level, adapted to the interests of the big power's transnationals.

The deepening of the Single Market has subjugated increasing areas of economic and social life and is closely tied to the processes of liberalizations, privatizations, of attacks upon labor rights and other social rights, upon public services and the social functions of the State —which was imposed upon the Portuguese people and Portugal.

These are processes —for which PS, PSD and CDS are responsible— which should be stopped and reverted, not deepened.

4. Regarding the deepening of the MEU/Euro —in addition to the contradictions and deadlocks that returned to the European Council—, the decision to finance the Single Resolution Fund from the European Stability Mechanism, presented as a further step in building the so-called Banking Union, demonstrates the fallacy that no longer would States and their citizens support the costs of financial capital's speculation.

A fallacy that, together with the so-called third pillar of the Banking Union —the 'deposit guarantee scheme'—, sought to sustain a deeply harmful process to national interests, with already visible consequences, such as usurping control over the banking sector from the Portuguese State, a strategic sector, deviating it from its economic and social function and forcing monopoly concentration at the scale of the EU, with the subsequent domination of the banking system by foreign capital.

Attempting to maintain illusions regarding supposedly redistributive instruments (such as the "budget for the Euro Zone") or in order to face asymmetric shocks, the European Council insists upon a direction that inevitably accentuates the interference of the EU's supranational institutions on the decision-making of different countries and their peoples.

5. Regarding the processes of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU, PCP reaffirms that the sovereign decision of the British people should be fully respected and reiterates that the Portuguese Government should resolutely intervene —with the UK and EU authorities— to ensure the defense of the rights of Portuguese citizens that work and live in that Country and guarantee mutually advantageous bilateral relationships between Portugal and the UK, that respect sovereignty and the aspirations of the peoples in both countries.

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  • União Europeia
  • Central

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