Statement of the PCP Central Committee Meeting, on June 28, 2015

Statement of the PCP Central Committee Meeting, on June 28, 2015
The Central Committee of the PCP, meeting on June 28, 2015, addressed aspects of the political, economic and social situation; stressed the importance of the National March "The Force of the People"; discussed and laid down the main lines of work regarding the legislative elections, for the struggle of the workers and people and the reinforcement of the Party.

I -Defeat the right-wing policy, build the patriotic and left-wing alternative

The Central Committee of the PCP points out that the economic and social situation of the country continues to worsen and that the PSD/CDS-PP government propaganda and that of the President of the Republic, acting in an unacceptable manner as its spokesman, that "the worst is over, "affronts the reality of the life of the workers and of the vast majority of the people and conflicts with the real situation of the country. Sensing that the defeat is near, in recent months the government has tried to create a policy of faits accomplis, standing out the worsening of the exploitation and impoverishment of the workers and people, the privatizations, the shaping of the State to the interests of big business and the deterioration of the democratic regime. With the release of the election programs of PSD/CDS and PS, it becomes clear that both are committed to the essential instruments and axes of right-wing policies, placing before the people and the country the prospect of continuing stagnation, impoverishment, dependence and national decline. The intervention of the PCP is crucial to continue the combat, denunciation and organisation of the struggle to counter the measures that the right-wing policy aims to achieve before the elections; to affirm an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy; to boost the confidence necessary to enable the construction of the electoral strengthening of CDU. In this context, it is even more necessary to strengthen the PCP, in the political, organic, ideological, electoral and financial levels, a decisive factor for the rupture with the right-wing policy and to make way for a patriotic and left-wing policy.

II - Combat the serious economic, social and political situation. No to national decline.

1. In a context marked by the nearing of the elections, with the government trying to mystify and conceal the most aggressive aspects of its policy, or mitigate their impact, there is no real process of recovery and economic revival - which continues in a vicious circle of recession-stagnation despite a favourable external environment - nor even of the reversal of the most brutal social regression that has hit the country since the fascist regime. The real evolution of the economic situation is clear: the anaemic growth of the GDP, which remains at the level of 2001; a public debt that the cosmetics of advance payments, incurring in more debt for this purpose, has not changed, maintaining its unsustainable nature and which reaches 130% of the GDP and a burden of 60 thousand million euros interest between 2014 and 2020; a national production setback due to deindustrialization, the implosion of construction and the new constraints on agriculture and fisheries, significant being the fact that the amount of fish landed by the national fleet in 2014 was the lowest since statistics came into being; an investment that has dropped to about half in five years and must not be mistaken with foreign capital circulating in privatizations; an external balance without any sustainable changes, where any increase of exports is offset by imports; a domestic market which, with fluctuations, remains under paralysis. The Central Committee considers that the continuation of the right-wing policy deepened the structural dependence and submission of the economy to the interests of monopolies, mostly transnational, and determined the subordination of the political power to economic power. The great majority of capital in PT, EDP, REN, GALP, BPI, BCP, BRISA, CTT, ANA, CIMPOR, is in the hands of foreign interests. Business deals ruinous to national interests, such as the looting by the PPPs, privatization of TAP and the handing to big business of other public transport companies continue. The planned handing to big business of public companies in the environmental area, including the privatization of EGF and the fusion of multi-municipal systems of water supply and sanitation and their opening to private capital continues. The privatizations rebuilt monopolies that today dominate the economy to the detriment of the national interest. Massive profits leaving the country continue to grow, the State lost tax revenues and dividends of privatized companies, with the resulting deterioration of the budget deficit. Privatizations reduced the State's capacity to intervene in the land planning, combat asymmetries and promote balanced development. The work of the BES/GES [Parliamentary] Inquiry Commission, proposed by the PCP, which has now ended, brought into focus the predatory nature and operating criteria of banking and monopoly groups, the fictional nature of "regulation", as well as the imperativeness of public control of the banks, as a condition for a sovereign economic development policy of the country. 2. The Central Committee considers that the worsening of the living conditions, low wages and pensions, unemployment, precariousness, cut in the number of recipients of important social payments, - such as the solidarity supplement for the elderly, social insertion income, the prenatal allowance and child benefit -, the impoverishment of the workers and the people, created a dramatic social situation: 2 million and 700 thousand Portuguese live below the poverty line; in these five years jobs were reduced by half a million and the unemployed, in a broad sense, increased from 653 000 to 1 million 200 thousand; 35% of the youth are unemployed and only 23% of the unemployed receive benefits;, half a million Portuguese were driven from the country into emigration on a scale unparalleled since records began. The policies of fiscal injustice and social inequalities deepen. A significantly worse picture with the reconfiguring of the State at the service of monopoly capital continues to weaken the public Social Security system, disrupts the National Health Service and its ability to respond, degrades Public School, devalues the Scientific and Technological System, downgrades Culture, deeply hurts the autonomy of Local Government and undermines the rendering of public services and their universal character with the attempt to impose the so-called "municipalisation". The cuts of thousands of million euros in social functions of the State, to which they wish to add a new cut of 380 million in public services and 600 million in Social Security, deepened the path of destruction and degradation of public services and the privatization of essential services and strategic companies, which weaken and suppress the social rights of the Portuguese. 3. The attack on workers' rights is what best identifies the class nature of the right-wing policies of PSD, CDS and PS. This attack, in particular to impose more unpaid work time, deregulation, more precariousness, unemployment and cuts in wages, rights and social protection, is the cornerstone of the worsening of the exploitation of workers to serve the interests of monopoly capital. The continuing offensive against the 35-hour work week and the attack on collective bargaining to "settle accounts" with labour achievements won with the April Revolution continues and threatens to intensify. 4. The Central Committee considers that, in recent years, the domination of the economic power on political power and the deterioration of democratic rule was enhanced. The Portuguese were dispossessed of the power to make decisions on key issues of national life, transferred to the European Union structures with the Stability Pact, the Budget Treaty, economic governance, choices contrary to national interests, but supported by PS, PSD and CDS, who legitimized foreign intervention in the country and implemented a foreign and defence policy of subordination to imperialism, draining democracy and national independence and sovereignty. The series of cases like "the golden visas", the horse-trading of financial speculation, corruption scandals, promiscuity between public office and private interests, situations that led to resignation of members of government and are in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic, express the degradation of the democratic regime and undermine the normal functioning of institutions, which should have led to the government's resignation long ago. In recent years, PSD/CDS, under the umbrella of PS, have increased the violations of the rights and freedoms, blocked and denied the negotiation of collective bargaining, limited the right to strike and the rights of assembly, demonstration and propaganda and now try new measures to legalize discrimination, namely of PCP-PEV, in the media coverage of election campaigns. In Justice, the government worsened its attempts to interfere in investigations, disqualified the Judicial Police and enhanced the class nature of justice, inaccessible to the workers and the population, aggravated by the closure of courts and the attack on the independence of the judiciary. The Armed Forces have been removed from their constitutional role and core aspects of the military condition were undermined. Disinvestment in the security of the population, concentration of personnel, closure of police stations and the degradation of working conditions continued. Information Services are free from any democratic control and involved in tapping and unlawful interception of communications, which the government and PS are now trying to legalize, despite the blatant unconstitutionality of their proposal. The Central Committee denounces the manoeuvres of the PSD/CDS government with the complicity of the President, as was once again shown in the June 10 celebrations, to evade their responsibilities in the country's situation, the harmful consequences of their action and the projects to continue, the widespread condemnation and loss of their social base of support to which their policy has led and will lead to defeat. 5. The Central Committee alerts to the plans to enhance the main pillars of the European Union - in particular its intervention in terms of NATO and the Economic and Monetary Union – which, if materialized, would represent the deepening of its federalist, neoliberal and militaristic nature and increased and more severe limitations on national sovereignty. The Central Committee alerts to the dangers of imperialism’s bellicist offensive in Europe, as exemplified by the reinforcement of NATO forces in Eastern Europe and their continuous military exercises, like the ones announced at the end of September in Portugal, Spain and Italy, which the PCP has already condemned. The Central Committee condemns the process of interference and blackmail by the European Union and the IMF against the Greek people and their options, which seek to impose the continuation and intensification of a policy at the service of big business and the directory of EU powers, a policy that is at the root of the catastrophic economic and social situation in that country. The Central Committee condemns the unacceptable posture of alignment by the PSD/ CDS government and the President of the Republic in this process of pressure against the Greek people, which is contrary to the interests of the people and the country. In view of the developments of the situation, when it is announced that a referendum is to be held in Greece on July 5 and destabilizing factors multiply, the PCP reaffirms its strong condemnation of the manoeuvres by the European Union and the IMF against that country. This process confirms that the "European Union's cohesion and solidarity" does not exist. The so-called “negotiations” and the decisions of the Eurogroup, the EU and the IMF were never interested in solving the serious problems of the people and the economy, but in imposing greater and more brutal exploitation of the Greek workers and people and a new extortion of the resources of that country. Having the euro as one of its main instruments of economic and political domination by big business, the European Union does not hesitate in trampling hypocritically proclaimed fundamental values - like democracy – humiliating and crushing the sovereign will of a people, while trying to perpetuate policies of exploitation of workers and favouring of big business. The PCP reaffirms its solidarity to the Greek workers and people, who resist and struggle against the impositions of the European Union and the IMF, demanding respect for their right to take sovereign options in defence of their rights and interests. The PCP reaffirms that the seriousness of the situation and the violence of the offensive against the people demands a firm stance to defend sovereignty in face of the instruments of domination by the EU and big business. In the year that marks the 70th. Anniversary of the victory over Nazi-fascism, the Central Committee salutes and stresses the importance of the struggle of the workers and people who, under very diverse conditions, resist the offensive by big business, particularly in Europe, where numerous struggles have taken place, to stand against the violent social regression that the European Union wants to impose. 6. The Central Committee considered that, in the regional elections of Madeira on 29th. March, CDU gained an important result, increasing in percentage (5.54%), in the number of votes (7060) and electing two MPs. The results of the regional elections confirm the positive conditions for the intervention and strengthening of the PCP and CDU in the Autonomous Region of Madeira and constitute a factor of stronger confidence in CDU throughout the country, in the preparation of the legislative elections. 7. The Central Committee highlights the development of the mass struggle that took place in the past months, in particular the national day of struggle of March 7th, promoted by CGTP-IN with demonstrations all over the country, the commemorations of March 8th – International Women's Day, the national march "Youth on the March – Work with rights! Against precariousness and exploitation" that culminated with the demonstration on March 28th in Lisbon, the national day of struggle promoted by MURPI [Retired and Pensioner movement] on April 11th throughout the country, the commemorations of April 25th and the grand commemorations of May 1st. The Central Committee salutes the struggles developed by diverse sectors, highlighting the national strike of the Public Administration Workers on March 13th; the strikes of the nurses, public health workers, non-teaching staff, and prison guards; the teachers demonstration on June 20th; and the June 26th rally promoted by the Common Front of Public Administration Trade Unions. The struggle in the transport sector, namely by STCP, Carris, Lusbon Subway, EMEF, Refer, CP, CP Carga, Atlantic Ferries, railway companies of passenger and commodity transportation. And in numerous companies and sectors, namely, hotels, Renault Cacia, EFACEC and BA Vidro. The initiative Culture in Struggle, promoted by more than 60 organizations, with expression in Almada, Coimbra and Lisboa. In these processes of struggle, the unity, determination and combativeness of the workers stood out, in their confrontation against the actions of government and bosses, resisting the offensive and achieving objectives, such as increases in wages, defense of work schedules, defeat of repressive actions and promotion to permanent contract of workers with precarious ties. The Central Committee highlights the importance of the development of action and struggle by workers and populations in defense of the interests, rights and improvement of their living conditions, and intrinsic element of the rupture with the right-wing policy and achievement of a patriotic, left-wing policy that answers their needs and concerns and places the country on the path of progress and social justice.

III - CDU - The strength of the people for a patriotic and left-wing policy

1. The Central Committee reaffirms the importance of the next elections for the Republican Assembly, given its significance in the struggle for a rupture with the right-wing policy and the construction of an alternative patriotic and left-wing policy. Elections of unmistakable significance for all those committed to ensure, by rupture with the right-wing policy, the conditions to give answer to the country's problems, stop and reverse the dangerous and disquieting ongoing path of exploitation, impoverishment and national decline. An importance confirmed by the projects that, more or less covertly, the parties of the right wing policy – PS, PSD and CDS – are preparing in order to perpetuate, with this or another marginal change, the essence of the policy of exploitation, impoverishment and dependency that has led the country to economic decline and social regression. Despite insistent and artificial manoeuvres to attempt to present the electoral programs of PS and PSD/CDS in confrontation, the truth is that the are based on the same premises and orientations that are at the origin of the of the policy of crushing the incomes and rights of the workers and people imposed by the Growth and Stability Pacts of the PS and the Aggression Pact signed by PS, PSD and CDS-PP with the foreign troika. Programs that, departing from identical options regarding the noose of the debt, the budgetary rules imposed by the European Union, the subordination of power to monopolist capital, lead to identical consequences regarding the continuity, with this or another difference in rhythm, reduction on the real value of wages and pensions, in new cuts in social functions, the maintenance of grave labor norms and expiration of collective contracts, the accentuation of precariousness in work relations, pursuing the alienation of strategic sectors, in the continuation of fiscal injustice. 2. The presentation, next July 7th, of the Electoral Program of PCP aimed at achieving and alternative policy, patriotic and left-wing, therefore assumes redoubled importance. A Program based on the national life and reality, founded on the popular aspirations and interests, built in the course of months (before and after the National Meeting held on February 28th) in multiple initiatives aimed at hearing receiving the contribution of numerous organizations, democrats and patriots. A Program, as was highlighted on March 26th, that in its essential objectives and axes proves that there is a solution to the national problems, that there is a policy capable of ensuring the development of the country, social progress, elevating the living conditions of workers and people. A Program of rupture that assumes, faced with the confrontation with constraints and conditions that compromise the right of Portugal to a sovereign development, the clear option for the rights of workers and the Portuguese people, for national independence and sovereignty, for the affirmation of values and principles enshrined in the Republican Constitution. A Program that assumes a rupture with the power of monopolist capital, with the submission to the European Union, and with its instruments of domination, as a necessary and indispensable condition towards the affirmation of a Portugal with a future. An unpostponable rupture with the right-wing policy that opens the way towards building an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, constitutes a national imperative, a condition to ensure a Portugal with a future, of social justice and progress, a sovereign and independent country. A policy capable of liberating Portugal from dependence and submission, recovering for the country that which belongs to the country, return rights, wages and incomes to the workers and people. These are the objectives the the Electoral Program of PCP inscribes and whose achievement will all the more closer the stronger the political and electoral influence of PCP and CDU. 3. The powerful National March of June 6th, called by CDU PCP-PEV constitutes an expression of convergence of democrats and patriots and a great affirmation of strength of the people and what it represents as a testimony of what is in the hands of the workers and people, in their confidence, their determination and will, to give expression to the construction of a real alternative policy. The Central Committee reaffirms its whole availability to broaden the convergence of democrats, patriots and all forces sincerely committed to building an alternative policy. A convergence built upon a clear program of rupture with the right-wing policy and the affirmation of a Portugal with a future. A convergence all the more possible and achievable the broader the political and electoral strength and influence of CDU. A necessary and irreplaceable force in the achievement of an alternative policy, PCP reaffirms that, with its project, action and coherence, it is ready to assume all the responsibilities that the Portuguese people may attribute to it towards achieving that policy and in the government of the country. 4. The successful achievement of the national action of contacts and information launched in the beginning of the month, the development of the initiatives of "dialogue and action" and the meetings "in the locality and the country, solutions for a better life", the projection and valuing of the CDU candidacies, together with a programming that ensures an ample contact in the priority sectors and locations and in the new poles of presence giving the summer period, constitute central elements for realizing the electoral campaign. The Central Committee of PCP appeals to its militants and the organizations of PCP and JCP, the activists of CDU, to build a campaign based on the mobilization with confidence, in actions of direct contact that allows the presentation of solutions for the country, the broadens the debate and the contribution on the necessary alternative policy to answer the national problems, that broadens the current and breadth of support that CDU gives expression to, that affirms with confidence the possibility of alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy.

IV - Reinforce the Party organization and influence

1. The Central Committee highlights the intense, profound and broad intervention developed by the Party over the last months, responding to the situation and taking the initiative, and points to the need to energize the political intervention and mass struggle. The Central Committee appeals, following the important dynamic of action of CDU that had a notable expression in the National March «The strength of the people», to continuing and intensifying an intervention with confidence, the development of a large political campaign of clarification and mobilization, towards the reinforcement of CDU PCP-PEV in the elections for the Republican Assembly, indispensable condition for the rupture with the right-wing policy and achieving a patriotic and left-wing policy. The Central Committee highlights the priority given to the preparation of the 39th Festa do «Avante!», on September 4, 5 and 6th and highlights the development of the national fund-raising campaign «More space,More Festa. Future with April» and the importance of measures to pursue and broaden the advance being verified. 2. The Central Committee reaffirms the importance and actuality of the work directions indicated in the Resolution «More organization, more intervention, more influence. A stronger PCP» and highlights the important success reached obtained. It highlights the advance verified in the action of contacts with members of the Party to elevate militancy, deliver the Party member card and update information, already terminated or close to it in some organizations, with delays in others, and the positive results of its realization, and raises the need to pursue this work and adopt new measure regarding cadres and leadership to conclude this action in all organizations. It highlights the great success of the national recruitment campaign «The values of April in the future of Portugal», with 2127 new militants, surpassing the fixed objective of 2 thousand, with political significance and an importance addition of new forces and capacities to the party collective that is necessary to fully take advantage of, ensuring the integration of new militants (defining with each one the party organism they will integrate and the task they will develop). The situation we are living places the necessity and importance of pursuing a broad work of recruitment of new militants realizing the existing potential. The Central Committee registers advances in other lines of work towards reinforcing the Party and highlights the importance of attributing responsibilities to cadres, structuring the work with the masses, in particular the reinforcement of the organization and intervention in companies and workplaces, distributing the party press and propaganda, the measures to ensure the financial independence of the Party. 3. The Central Committee appeals to the Party organizations and militants, trusting in the working class, the workers, the youth and Portuguese people, to develop the mass struggle, broaden the political intervention, to turn the preparation of the legislative elections into a large political campaign of the masses, to clarify and mobilize the vote in CDU, a battle of great importance towards the rupture with the right-wing policy and the affirmation of a patriotic and left-wing policy, rooted in the values of April.
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