Speech by Vasco Cardoso, Member of the Political Committee of the Central Committee, XXth Congress of the PCP

The national sovereignty, the movement for its defence and freeing the country for the submission to the Euro

The national sovereignty, the movement for its defence and freeing the country for the submission to the Euro

Comrades,

It is almost 15 years since the introduction of Euro bills and coins in our country. The PCP was the only voice that warned and fought the foreseeable impacts of the adhesion to the Single European Currency. The PCP did not follow the siren chants that heralded the end of crises, the shield of speculation with public debt, the convergence with the salary levels of the major powers, the growth and development of the country.

Nothing of what was sold to the Portuguese people came to be. Nothing of what was promised to the Portuguese people was accomplished.

The evidence of a country which, since joining the has basically not grown, where unemployment has multiplied, in fact one of the countries in the world which has grown the least but has simultaneously acquired one of the world´s biggest external public debt, opens the population´s eyes to all the substantiated accusations which could be done about the consequences of joining the simple European currency.

Regardless of its configuration, regardless of the policies associated, of the contradictions and latent tensions within the UE, the Euro was and still is a tool of the domineering classes and the great powers build in order to promote and focus the ownership of the finantial capital.

Its introduction in Portugal, which was supported by PS, PSD and CDS, was a violent qualitative leap which seriously intensified the neo-liberal and liberalist option of the community structure creating a permanent pressure to undermine our industry, our capacity to produce wealth, our freedom to distribute wealth, our development, our sovereignty.

Portugal needs to free itself from the Euro and the constraints of monetary integration.

It needs a currency which is adequate to the reality and the country’s economic potential. Adequate to its salaries, productivity and productive profile, which allows for advances instead of disadvantages.

It needs an autonomous and sovereign monetary, financial, foreign-exchange and budgetary management, adjusted to the national situation and which uses all opportunities to increase production, employment and growth.

It needs a real central national bank which supports its project for development and releases it from the debt speculators, blackmail or from the blackmail from the European Central Bank, the European Union or the IMF in financing the baking system and the state.

It needs to leave the Stability and Growth Pact and all its consequences.

It needs to protect itself from the competitiveness losses brought about by overvalued currency appreciation.

It needs to resist better to financial speculation and refrain foreign debt.

In short, Portugal needs to free itself from the Euro. Freedom from the Euro would have all those advantages.

In an unspoken defence of monetary integration, some claim that «the problem is not the Euro but the Euro related policies».

This is a lack of understanding of the nature of class and the goals of the process of capitalist integration of the European Union.

It is not understanding that the Euro, single currency, would always be simultaneously the currency of periphery and the centre, of the less developed countries and of the great powers, of Portugal and Germany. However, one cannot serve two masters. Either the Euro is adjusted to the conditions, needs and interests of Germany or to the condtions, needs and interests of Portugal.

Well, Portugal needs a different currency from that of Germany. The Portuguese workers and the people of Europe need monetary policies which differ from those of the monopolies and of the great capital.

The Euro is a withers and an instrument of political blackmail on peoples and states. Without monetary sovereignty, Portugal is subject, as other countries have been, to the decisions of third parties that, in the final analysis, can decide on the financial strangulation of a country or the collapse of its financial system.

Definitively, the Euro does not serve the interests of the Portuguese People. The Euro does not serve the peoples of Europe.

Comrades

From this Congress we reaffirm, without the renegotiation of the public debt, without the recovery of public control over the banking system – goals which articulate and complement themselves – the country doesn´t have and will never have progress.

Freeing Portugal from the Euro does not solve by itself all the national problems. But we know that there is no future for Portugal while belong to the Euro.

Commentators and analysts faithful to the right wing policies and the great capital can announce tragedies and storms whenever the issue of the Euros is raised. PSD and CDS, can proudly exhibit an “European Union good student diploma” despite the country drowning. The BE can one day announce the tragedy of an eventual exit and on the following day show indignation by the rules of the budgetary agreement. The actual PS can insist on the so called European commitments, pledge eternal love to the single currency, because the truth is that the question related to the Euro, for its structural dimension in the country’s political and economic life, will have to be discussed sooner rather than later to allow Portugal to prepare for that correct path, as the PCP proposed.

We do not ignore, we do not neglect, we do not minimize the risks, the problems and the hardships will find.

However, the freedom from the Euro that we propose is to see the country grow instead of stagnate and wither, i tis to invest instead of regress, is to create jobs instead of forcing migration, is to distribute wealth in a more equitable manner instead of increasing inequality, it is to deepen democracy instead of impoverishment.

The monetary sovereignty its essential to the national sovereignty. For the PCP, no process of integration, no matter how advanced, will prevent the Portuguese people from deciding its future. If the Euro calls into question the present and the future, then, the Portuguese people not only have the right to question but also do demand that this obstacle is removed from its path. This is our right by the simple and undeniable fact of being a country with almost nine centuries of history who wants to build its future by its own hands.

Long live the XX Congress!
Long live the Portuguese Communist Party!

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XX Congresso do PCP

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