Statement Political Committee of the Central Committee

On the «Joint Position by the PS and the PCP on the political solution»

On the «Joint Position by the PS and the PCP on the political solution»

Four years after PSD/CDS entered into government, the country found itself thrown into a situation of economic decline, social regression, foreign dependence and impoverishment of the democratic regime that mark the national reality as it stands.

The October 4 elections were unequivocally a condemnation of the PSD/CDS coalition. A conviction expressed in the vote that translated a political isolation and defeat which had already been expressed by the struggle of the workers and the Portuguese people. No tradition can be invoked to erase what reality reveals: PSD and CDS were denied their ambition to have an absolute majority; PSD and CDS lost the conditions to continue their course of exploitation, impoverishment and injustice.
What is really decided in the legislative elections are the MPs that each political force elects, parliamentary majorities that are formed in the Assembly of the Republic.

It was with this understanding that the PCP took the initiative on the necessary and indispensable political and institutional consequences of the election results.

The condemnation imposed on the PSD/CDS coalition was not just a defeat of its government but of its policy. The Portuguese people gave a clear sign that they definitely wanted to see out of their lives the PSD/CDS government and aspired for a change of policy.

It was this expression of demand for a change in the national political life that the PCP answered by immediately announcing the rejection of a PSD and CDS government to be presented to the Assembly of the Republic and announcing to be fully available to build solutions which guaranteed a response capable of ensuring economic development, restoration of income and rights, valorisation of wages and pensions, promotion of employment and combating injustice, restoration of the full right to health and education, ensuring sound social security and higher levels of social protection.

We worked towards this objective in a serious and committed way. With the directness and frankness for which we are known. With full respect for the positions and options of the PS, without disguising difficulties or hiding differences, affirming our independence and identity, without waiving our Programme and Project.

We worked driven by the determination to do everything possible to once for all defeat PSD and CDS, removing them from government and to seek solutions that would meet the interests and aspirations of the workers and the Portuguese people. This was the objective which was pursued jointly, together with a mutual approach to identify matters, steps and solutions that can represent an indispensable sign of change.

An approach that recognizes the distinct nature of the programmes of the two parties and differences in presumptions with which they observe and embody structural aspects of the country's situation. And which recognized, also, the great need for a political identification that an agreement on a government and a government programme brought and which the work undertaken and the differences that subsisted did not enable to verify.

From the very beginning, the PCP gave prominence to the valorisation of the converging points, the matters which could ensure a prompt answer to the legitimate aspirations of the Portuguese people to see their wages and pensions restored, their rights returned, better living conditions guaranteed.
It was the converging and not the diverging points that both parties chose to enhance. It was this degree of convergence that enabled the level of commitment we assumed and respect. We know that this is a way not without difficulties and demands. It is the profound aspiration of the Portuguese people for a better life that drives us, intervening and fighting at each and every moment for the commitments for a policy that meets the pressing rights and interests that might arise and materialize.
The day before yesterday, the Central Committee of the PCP confirmed the conditions to ensure a governing solution that prevents PSD and CDS from continuing their policy of the country’s destruction. There is, in the new parliament, a majority of MPs constituting condition enough to form a government of PS initiative, which enables the presentation of its programme, taking office and the adoption of a policy to ensure a lasting solution in terms of the legislature.

There is in the Assembly of the Republic an institutional base that can implement a set of measures and solutions that address the interests of the workers and the people, an institutional base that will go as far as the willingness of each political force composing it wants, to support the course of restoration of wages and incomes, return of rights, strengthening access to health, education and social security, to support micro, small and medium-size companies, the pensioners, the youth. These are the objectives of this policy and its implementation that bind us and for which we will contribute with seriousness, ready to examine and respond to this expectation of a change in policy that the problems of the country and the people demand.

Much has been said about this period that enabled the establishment of the "Joint Position by the PS and the PCP on the political solution," and much will continue to be heard and read, almost always without any basis. We wish to reaffirm that the PCP speaks for the PCP, with its own voice and words, with its positions and the rigour of its formulations.

It is this commitment that we reiterate. With the solid proof of those who honour their word and their commitments. With the recognized guarantee to the workers and the people that we will not fail at any time and will not waste any opportunity that can correspond to assure them the defence and affirmation of their rights, the valorisation of their incomes, the full materialization of a worthy life.

Lisbon, November 10, 2015


Joint position by the Socialist Party and the Portuguese Communist Party on a political solution

The Socialist Party (PS) and the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) have adopted the following position regarding the political situation, within the framework of the new institutional context of the 13th legislature that emerged from the October 4 [2015] elections.

1. The October 4 elections represented a clear defeat of the PSD/CDS coalition. PSD/CDS have lost the political conditions and legitimacy to continue in office. [The outcome of the] October [elections] condemned, not just the PSD/CDS government, but also its policies.

The elections brought about a new composition of the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament] for the current legislature, which reflects a substantial change in the balance of forces. This new reality, and the will for change that was expressed by the Portuguese people, raises the demand and the responsibility of ensuring that the course that has been followed by the previous government is brought to a halt.

It is this responsibility that must be materialized: finding a policy that may respond to the most pressing problems that are faced by the Portuguese, as regards employment, wages and income, pensions and social benefits, rights, the social functions of the State and public services, namely healthcare, education, social security and culture.

2. This was the goal that PS and PCP strived for, throughout a committed process of mutual assessment, that sought to identify issues, measures and solutions that may reflect the necessary sign of change.

It was a serious assessment, which recognized the distinctive nature of the two Parties' programmes and the different assumptions that underlie their assessments and viewpoints regarding fundamental aspects of the country's situation.

But it was also, and above all, an effort and assessment which confirmed that there is a set of issues which may ensure an immediate response to legitimate aspirations of the Portuguese people to see their incomes restored, their rights brought back, better living standards ensured. Both Parties chose to stress their points of convergence, rather than their points of divergence.

3. Among others, PS and PCP identified the following aspects in which there is a possibility of convergence for political solutions that cannot be postponed, despite each Party's different programmatic assessments:

Unfreezing pensions; restoring the holidays which have been abolished; a decisive fight against precarious work, including the false “green receipts” [whereby long-term work is disguised as occasional work], the abusive use of traineeships and the use of so-called “employment and insertion contracts” to replace full workers; a review in the mechanism that defines the deductions that are to be paid by workers with “green receipts”; an end to the special regimes of requalification/mobility [which are concealed forms of dismissal]; the respect for the right to collective bargaining in Public Administration; the full restoration of the pension top-ups for workers in the State entrepreneurial sector; a reduction in VAT for the catering industry [restaurants] to 13%; the introduction of a safeguard clause for the Municipal Tax on Homes [IMI]; the guarantee of protection of personal homes for families that are subject to enforcement proceedings or for tax debts or repossessions; the expansion of tax stimuli for small and medium companies; a reassessment of the reductions and exemptions in the Social Security Tax (TSU); the strengthening of the National Health Service by providing it with adequate human, technical and financial resources, including the materialization of the goal of ensuring family doctors and nurses for all; the repeal of the recent changes in the Law on the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancies [abortion]; the guarantee, by 2019, of access to kindergartens for all children over the age of three; a stronger direct and indirect Educational Social Action; job contracts for all teachers and non-teaching staff in schools; smaller class sizes in schools; gradual moves towards free school textbooks during compulsory schooling; the promotion of regular contracts for PhD research workers in public laboratories or other entities and the gradual replacement of post-doctoral grants by contracts for research workers; the reversal of ongoing processes of privatization/concessions of land transport companies; the inadmissibility of any new privatization processes.

PS and PCP note that there are other issues on which, although there was no agreement on the conditions for their materialization, there is agreement regarding the goals that are to be achieved. Among these: the restoration of the wages of workers in Public Administration during 2016; the restoration of the 35-hour working week in Public Administration, as well as the lifting of restrictions on hiring in central, regional and local Public Administration; the elimination of the extra tax on IRS [the main income tax]; the progressive nature and a raising of the brackets for the IRS tax; the elimination of the obstacles which the so-called moderating fees represent for the users of the National Health Service; a more widespread access to, and higher payments of, social protection and social assistance benefits, the strengthening and diversification of sources of income for Social Security.

4. PS and PCP recognize that an agreement regarding a future government or government programme would imply greater requirements of political identification. However, PS and PCP recognize that, with the current level of convergence that has been achieved, conditions exist to:

. put an end to the cycle of economic and social degradation that the continued existence of a PSD/CDS government would represent. With this idea in mind, they will reject any solution proposing a PSD/CDS government, and they will defeat any initiative that seeks to prevent an alternative solution for the government;

. ensure the necessary institutional basis for the PS to form a government, present its programme [to Parliament], begin functions and adopt a policy that will ensure a lasting solution, with the prospect of a full mandate;

. on the basis of the new institutional balance of forces existing in the Assembly of the Republic, adopt measures that respond to the Portuguese people's aspirations and rights.

In this sense, PS and PCP affirm their common disposition to:

. undertake a common assessment of the ways in which the issues where a convergence was identified should be reflected in the State Budgets, both in general terms and in detail, in order to not forsake the opportunity of ensuring that these instruments may correspond to the necessary restitution of wages, pensions and rights; to the unpostponable reversion in the deterioration of the Portuguese people's living standards as well as in social functions, with the State ensuring universal, public and quality services; and a reversion in the current path of decline, injustice, exploitation and impoverishment, which has been stepped up in recent years;

. examine the measures and solutions which may, outside the scope of the State Budget, be immediately implemented;

. examine, in bilateral meetings that may jointly be considered necessary, other issues, whose complexity may so require, or which are related to: (a) legislation with impact on the Budget; (b) motions of censorship against the Government; (c) legislative initiatives that may emanate from other Parliamentary groups; (d) legislative initiatives which, whilst not having impact on the Budget, represent fundamental aspects of the activity of the government or of the functioning of Parliament.

The option for a bilateral position between the PS and PCP does not limit other solutions which PS and PCP may consider it convenient to establish with the Left Bloc and the Ecologist Party “the Greens”.

5. With full respect for the political independence of each Party, and not concealing from the Portuguese people the differences regarding fundamental aspects of each Party's viewpoints, which their Party Programmes clearly reveal, the Parties signing this text, which is today made public, confirm with the necessary clarity their disposition and determination to prevent the PSD and CDS from continuing their policy, that the country has now roundly condemned, and to ensure a course for the country that may guarantee:

. the turning of a page regarding policies that reflected the strategy of impoverishment that was followed by the PSD and CDS;

. the defense of the social functions of the State and of public services, social security, education and healthcare, with a serious struggle against poverty and social and economic inequalities;

. a new economic strategy based on growth and employment, on the increase in income for families and the creation of conditions for public and private investment;

. the promotion of a new model of progress and development for Portugal, which invests on raising wages and on the struggle against precarious jobs, relaunching investments in education, culture and science, and ensuring that the Portuguese society can recover confidence and hope in the future;

. value the participation of citizens, political decentralisation and the autonomy of the islands.

Lisbon, November 10, 2015