For months, the country has been facing an escalation in the prices of fuel and other products. An escalation that, with sanctions under the pretext of war, now knows even more brutal increases for the benefit of those who take advantage of them.
In addition to the unjustifiable increases in fuel prices, a few days ago we were faced with further increases in electricity, gas and food products.
The PCP denounces the speculative actions that are underway and which, invoking problems and difficulties arising from the international situation, seek to transfer the costs of these options to the workers and the people.
Witness the issue of fuel increases. In truth, there is no justification other than a coup, benefiting of the situation, a speculative manoeuvre. The fuels that are being sold today were purchased months ago and at considerably lower prices than those announced for next May.
It is during these moments that it is worth remembering the economic crime that resulted from privatisation, price liberalisation, leaving fundamental decisions on this strategic sector to private capital, or the recent option of destroying the Matosinhos Refinery, placing the country in a situation of greater dependence on external situations that it does not control.
The country, workers, populations, small businessmen and producers face increasing difficulties while economic groups intensify their speculative action on prices, concentrating even more wealth. While fuel prices are breaking all records, GALP has distributed a billion euros in dividends to its shareholders, an example that can be extended to the profits of EDP, large distribution companies or banks.
Life is fast becoming more expensive. This is the reality that everyone faces when they go shopping every day to take food home, when they pay the bills for electricity, water, gas, rent and instalments, telecommunications, fuel, insurance, tolls, medicines and all the expenses that everyone is faced with.
With each passing day wages and pensions get shorter for increasingly higher expenses.
The government cannot turn a blind eye to this reality or to the speculation that is taking place. The situation calls for determination and not measures that, while important, are clearly insufficient and short-range like those announced in recent days.
We must act and curb the greed of the monopolies.
The government is called to defend and protect families in the face of the widespread increase in prices and not to indulge in speculation. For the urgent implementation of measures that face the current situation, the PCP is, as always, ready to table and find solutions.
As regards fuel, there are aspects and fiscal measures that can and should be considered and that, in fact, the PCP has long proposed, namely the elimination of the surcharge on the tax on petroleum products and the end of the double taxation of VAT on Tax on Petroleum Products (ISP). But in the current situation, what is needed is to stop speculation and, for this, the imposition of maximum final sale prices.
The imposition of maximum prices is a measure that must also be considered in matters of energy, gas and all essential goods, in particular foodstuffs.
It is urgent to reduce VAT from 13% to 6% on gas and from 23% to 6% on electricity.
The PCP warns that, after economic groups took advantage of the epidemic to attack rights and living conditions while amassing billions of euros in profits and dividends, now comes the use of the worsening international tensions of the war in Ukraine and of sanctions, with economic groups invoking and demanding new and more public support, seeking to put pressure on wages, rights and the standard of living of workers and people.
These are the issues that the PCP is taking to workers and populations in these coming days, with different actions all over the country, in an action of contact, agitation and clarification.
The PCP calls on workers and populations to mobilise, to voice their outrage and protest against the increase in the cost of living and to put a stop to the ongoing process to raise prices, raise interest rates, promote speculation and attack rights and living conditions of workers, pensioners and populations.
Como Álvaro Cunhal sublinhou “o 25 de Abril que comemoramos não é um mero acontecimento passado que lembremos, mas um grande feito histórico que mantém marcas profundas na vida presente e contém experiências e valores indispensáveis para o futuro de Portugal”.
O PCP terá a sua intervenção própria nas comemorações sob o lema «Abril é mais Futuro». Numa situação em que estão presentes elementos de intensificação de exploração, de empobrecimento, de ataque a direitos e a serviços públicos, de desigualdades, injustiças e discriminações, de branqueamento do fascismo, de promoção de concepções retrógradas e reaccionárias, de condicionamento das liberdades e ameaças à paz, o PCP apela aos democratas e patriotas, aos trabalhadores, aos jovens e ao povo para que façam das comemorações uma afirmação dos valores de Abril e de exigência de um Portugal desenvolvido e soberano, num mundo de paz, cooperação e amizade entre os povos.