Statement by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary

«You can count on the PCP to resist difficulties and to defend rights»

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I would like to share with you this feeling of unease that assails us in the face of the situation we are experiencing.

But also to affirm and share the hope that we will overcome the difficulties and dangers that we face, where words have to give way to action, preventive measures and clinical treatment that safeguard life, health and rights.

They ask us for how long. We are sure of only one thing: we will overcome this difficult moment.

And we must do so by confronting the problems and reacting to adversity, not underestimating the epidemic outbreak but responding with courage and determination.

All preventive and containment measures must be taken, but without letting fear block our collective life. The example that has been set by the Portuguese people with voluntary compliance with the measures determined by the Health authorities is a decisive element in successfully addressing the health problem we face. And it is essential that this be associated with the effort to ensure that the country continues to function as normally as possible, within the context that results from these measures.

At this moment, it is imperative to take measures of reinforcement and investment in the National Health Service, in order to equip it for the present requirements, both of this pathology and in ensuring healthcare for all the other response needs.

People and their health come before budget deficits or surpluses.

At this very sensitive moment, I want to greet the healthcare workers, as well as all others who are involved in responding to the population’s needs, for their dedication and example.

The situation we live in helps to understand that it is in public services and in the National Health Service that the people find the guarantee of their rights, in particular the right to healthcare. May this lesson be retained for the future and not only in times of public health crisis.

A message in particular for workers. For all workers. We know that there are those who are already taking advantage of the situation, adding to fear and panic, in order to take advantage of the legitimate concern of workers so as to impose more exploitation.

Fighting and liquidating the virus, yes. But it is unacceptable to invoke that to liquidate rights, to cut wages, tomake redundancies, to impose the law of the jungle. The situation requires an immediate emergency ban on dismissals and the adoption of measures to safeguard rights.

The country must continue to live, in new conditions, undoubtedly. Ensuring national production so as to meet the population’s needs of goods and services, at the same time that the country's dependence forces us to come up with new solutions to confront the problems that arise. Guaranteeing support for families, for the elderly, for workers, for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Overcoming the logic of capitalism, which, even in this moment of crisis, puts interests and rights in second place, when viewing the possibilities of accumulating immediate profits through speculation and price increases, including of essential goods or indispensable health products.

To overcome all these problems, we need courage, determination and correct political options. Today the need for a patriotic and left-wing policy becomes clearer.

Here we are, this Party with one hundred years of history that the workers and the people can count on. In all the difficult times, when others deserted, the PCP always said ‘Present!’

Once again, when the workers and the people need the PCP the most, I can say that we are here and will be here, with our action but also with our presence wherever necessary.

You can count on the PCP for the immediate response that is needed to safeguard Healthcare, to resist difficulties and defend rights, to open the path of sovereignty and development that Portugal needs.

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