Statement PCP Central Committee

The future of Portugal is being compromised We must act! We must urgently say “Enough”!

1. The future of our country is being compromised. Under the pretext of the crisis and the public deficit, big capital is aiming to liquidate historic rights that have taken years to achieve, attacking the living conditions of workers and the people, pushing the country towards decline, targeting democratic rights and compromising national sovereignty.

The authentic robbery perpetrated upon wages and pensions, and the increase in prices of all goods and services, including the most essential, are the most recent expression of a qualitative jump in the ongoing offensive. The Socialist Party (PS) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), largely responsible, along with the Popular Party (CDS-PP), for the policy of national disaster that led the country to the present situation, fulfill their “mission” in the service of the economic and financial groups. In each joint meeting, falsely invoking the interests of the country, they assume in concert new measures that deepen exploitation and social injustices.

Assumed defenders of capitalism and its exploitative, speculative and predatory nature, unsatisfied with the sacrifices imposed upon the workers and People foreseen with the Stability and Growth Program (SGP), PS and PSD, renouncing their commitments, conspire jointly to take new and graver strides in attacking rights, in assaulting wages and work incomes, and, betraying the Country, concede to the interests of financial capital and economic groups, national or foreign, interests they share and were delegated to defend.

A policy blatantly destined to take from workers in order to give to banks, to speculators, to big capital. Take from the country to serve the ambitions pursued by the countries that command the process of capitalist integration in Europe.

2. In Portugal and the European Union, big capital and the international structures of capitalism (like the IMF) applaud and play an active part in all and each measure decreed against the Portuguese people and the peoples of Europe. Measures that were part of big capital's objectives for years, and today find room for further violent progression. Measures to impose a new framework in the relation of forces between capital and work, bereft of democratic rights, open field to impose exploitation and the ravaging of resources.

The theft practiced through financial speculation upon the most vulnerable economies – through artificial and selective dramatization of public deficits – is an integral part of the undisguisable objective of building big capital's profits, at the cost of increased exploitation of work and the pauperization of the immense mass of millions of workers. The intervention and blackmail wrought upon sovereign countries, with the connivance of their respective governments, like Portugal, Greece and Spain, through the imposition of unacceptable conditions – cuts in wages, privatizations, raising the age of retirement, increasing taxes – reveal the class nature of the policy of capitalist concentration and accumulation conducted by the directory of big powers, particularly Germany.

Life is confirming what PCP has denounced: the common market and the Economic and Monetary Union (the Euro and European Central Bank) have as their single aim serving the interests of financial capital and the big European powers. From the Lisbon Treaty to the 2020 Strategy, the objective is not cooperation and balanced developed among all peoples, but strengthening the ability of big capital to impose its laws, to continue to ravage resources and intensify unequal trade. The intolerable threat indicated by the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, of imposing the approval of national budgets to the validation by the EU, constitutes a giant step in the federalist dynamic and an amputation of national sovereignty. They speak of “aid” and “support”, but in reality what they seek is to tighten the grip on the weaker countries. An attitude that is inseparable from the deepening of inter-imperialist contradictions and rivalries, namely regarding monetary issues, and whose developments are increasingly unpredictable and dangerous.

Capitalism – whose systemic and global crisis is evident – is not resolving but continuously increasing the problems of humanity, evermore revealing its contradictions, its exploitative and oppressive nature. On one side, the financial and economic groups, the bankers, the big owners, administrators, speculators, the handymen of big interests and the governments that serve them; on the other side, millions of workers, laborers, intellectuals, pensioners, unemployed, small and medium farmers and entrepreneurs.

3. PCP condemns and rejects the ongoing attack upon wages and pensions, upon the unemployment subsidy – reducing social welfare, stimulating lay-offs and promoting wage reductions – as well as the announced increase in VAT, which would largely penalize the population with lower income, and the cuts in public investment, which would compromise development, economic growth and the creation of employment.

Less wage by the end of the month, more expensive goods and services, this is the genuine robbery determined by the newly announced attack upon wages – with the imposition of a new 1-1.5% tax – together with the increase in VAT. A shocking measure given that only recently more than 4 billion euros were transferred to the Portuguese Business Bank (BPN). An unfair measure given the well-known profits of the five main national banks, surpassing 5.5 million euros a day, or given that in the end of 2008 there were more than 16 billion euros of Portuguese capital in off-shore accounts.

The PS government and PSD lie when they say that sacrifices will affect everyone. They very much want to mask the total protection granted to profits, hand-outs, perks – which the announced changes to Corporate Income Tax (CIT) essentially do not affect – which continue to benefit financial capital and the main economic groups. They don't alter the effective taxes upon stock-market winnings, tax benefits remain untouchable, millions of euros continue to be drained through off-shores without being taxed, and the effective CIT rates payed by banks are an insult to workers and any small company.

Over the last six years, the main economic and financial groups had profits over 32 billion euros, while workers saw their wages and buying power reduced, unemployment substantially increased and causal jobs generalized. PCP accuses the PS government and PSD, in consonance with CDS-PP, of a policy of abdication of national interests, with the aim of privatizing companies that are strategic to the country. The Postal Service CTT, the state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the airline TAP, the airport company ANA, the national road network REN, the national rail network CP are public, and they should be at the service of the people and country. The results of privatization are visible in an evermore dependent country, in the strangulation of small companies, in the destruction of our productive sector, in regional asymmetries, in social injustices and in unemployment.

There can be no doubt. PS and PSD do not ignore that these measures – and when there are threats of new changes to labor law – can only result in more economic stagnation and recession, greater asphyxia of the internal market, less productive activity and more bankruptcies. PS and PSD know better than anyone that, beyond the false and circumstantial phrases about “national interest”, these measures do not serve the Country but the interests of big capital and the speculation “markets” they defend and represent. PCP rejects and fights against this road to disaster and will do everything to defeat it.

4. With a right-wing policy, with the measures foreseen in the SGP and others now announced, with the strategic concert between PS and PSD, the country is in danger. There is urgency in stopping this course that is heading towards national disaster, in ensuring a rupture with the right-wing policy. In affirming another policy, patriotic and left-wing, to save the country from the abyss and assure the improvement of the living conditions of workers and the Portuguese People.

Contrary to those that state, everyday, that there is no other course, fighting those that seek to impose a single policy of exploitation and injustices, PCP insists there is another policy and another course for Portugal.

A policy that defends the national economy, increases wages and pensions as a favorable factor for social justice, energizing the internal market, and that at the same time values and increases the rights of workers, namely the right to collective negotiation and contracts.

A policy that makes the most of national resources, that defends and promotes national production, that invests in the industrialization of the country, its agriculture and fisheries, and that is oriented towards job creation, fighting unemployment and casual labor, and supporting micro, small and medium companies.

A policy that reinforces public investment, building equipments that are necessary to populations and to the development of economic activity; that broadens the social functions of the State in healthcare, education and social security; and that, at the present time, give an urgent answer to the worsening situation by broadening unemployment benefits.

A policy that leads towards the recovery of public control over basic and strategic sectors of our economy – namely in banking, energy, communications and transportation – ending the ongoing process of privatization, placing these companies at the service of the country.
A policy that fights evasion and is for a fair fiscal taxation, namely imposing upon banks an effective CIT rate of at least 25% over its profits, applying a tax upon stock-market transactions, including stock-market earnings, and eliminating the fiscal benefits and privileges attributed to big capital.

A policy of unrelenting defense of national interests and affirmation of sovereignty before imperialism in general and the EU in particular.

A patriotic and left-wing policy and a government that implements it. A government of rupture and change that responds to the problems of the country, that respects and abides the Republican Constitution, and that will be closer to being achieved by strengthening PCP and broadening the worker's and people's struggle.

5. The seriousness of the ongoing offensive claims for an energetic and combative struggle from all those that feel struck by this policy. Indignation, protest and struggle – this is the necessary and patriotic response to the course PS, PSD, CDS-PP, and the economic and financial groups want to impose.

PCP, in solidarity with the intense and courageous struggle that the workers and Peoples are fighting all over the world, valuing the many struggles that the Portuguese workers have fought over the last several months, appeals to the Portuguese people to make their voice heard, to make their strength felt. It is time to say “Enough”. It is time to act.

PCP appeals to the intensification of protest and struggle and a massive participation in the large national demonstration called by the trade union confederation CGTP-IN on the 29th of May in Lisbon.

Only the struggle of the working class, and of all workers, of the non-monopolistic sectors, can stop such serious measures and guarantee a future of social justice and development that Portugal needs.

PCP will intensify its action and political intervention. In companies and workplaces, in cities, villages and towns, in the Republican Assembly, in the European Parliament, in the Regional Legislative Assemblies and in local municipalities, PCP and the Portuguese Communist Youth (JCP) will do all that is within in reach to fight and defeat right-wing politics.

A more dynamic and affirmative intervention that integrates the national action of the 20th of May, of contacting workers and populations nationwide, under the theme «No to stealing our wages» and that culminates with a rally in Lisbon; the «Onward! For the rights of the youth» on the 22nd of May, promoted by JCP; and the group of initiatives programmed under the Nation Campaign of «500 actions against SGP».

An action that, giving response to the widening sentiment of protest, accompanying the current of struggle that grows in the country, integrates the presentation by PCP's Parliamentary Group in the Republican Assembly of a motion of censure.

A motion of censure that goes beyond its institutional expression and essentially assumes a political dimension. A censure of the government, as is institutionally assumed, but mostly a censure directed towards the right-wing policy, PS and PSD. A censure that contains a judgment about the course imposed upon the country over the last years by right-wing policy and about its main promoters. An unequivocal condemnation of the measures now imposed and the increased injustices and inequalities they lead to. A censure that is a clear expression of rejection of the course of economic stagnation, social setbacks, liquidation of sovereignty and national disaster. A censure that this the affirmation of the need for a more developed and more just country, of a Portugal with future.

The action and intervention of PCP will be present in all dimensions of national political life, it will be a factor of hope and confidence in a better life.

When this violent offensive is developing in Portugal, when capitalism reveals, in the crudest manner, its contradictions and objectives, it is by supporting and strengthening PCP that all those that are targeted by the right-wing policy can and should converge. Laborers and other workers, intellectuals, small and medium farmers and entrepreneurs, pensioners, the youth, men and women that aspire for a better life, for a Portugal of progress and social justice, it is in the Portuguese Communist Party that they find a force able to fight injustices, mobilize wills, impose a policy that fulfills the aspirations and will of the Portuguese People.

PCP presents an alternative course and path for national politics, it intervenes next to workers and populations in mobilizing towards the resolution of their problems, it takes initiative, presents proposals and measures that tackle the problems and aspirations of the Portuguese People and affirms its project of rupture and change, of implementing a patriotic and left-wing policy, of building an advanced democracy and socialism for Portugal.

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