The Central Committee of PCP, met on January 20th and 21st, analysed the evolution of the national political, economic and social situation, and aspects of the international situation, pointed out the development of the mass struggle and defined the major lines of intervention, political initiative and Party reinforcement.
I - Major aspects of the present situation
1.1 The evolution of the political, economic and social situation proves what PCP has affirmed: the development of the country, including the improvement of the living conditions of workers and people, is inseparable from a policy that confronts and breaks with the interests of big capital and its monopolistic dominion, and that frees the country from the submission to the European Union and the Euro, indispensable demands for the recovery of sovereignty and national independence.
Two years of the new phase of the national political situation demonstrate that the path capable of ensuring economic growth and social progress is that of defense and conquest of rights, of increase in wages and pensions, of restitution of other incomes and incomes of workers and people. Economic growth is based upon valuing work and their rights, and not upon the intensification of exploitation and impoverishment, and demands, among other conditions, demands the decisive reinforcement of the productive sector and national production indispensable to sovereign development.
1.2 The national political situation and its development reveal the value of the mass struggle, in particular that of the worker’s struggle, and the irreplaceable role of PCP: to resist and stop the destructive action of the PSD/CDS government; to ensure the defense, restitution and achievement of rights; to achieve constraints and commitments contrary to the interests of the country that have served to support the right-wing policy — which PS, PSD and CDS share; and to achieve an alternative patriotic and left-wing policy capable of answering the structural problems of the country.
PCP values the measures achieved, with its decisive contribution, in particular in the last State Budgets (SB), along the lines of the defense, restitution and conquest of rights. But reaffirms that the necessary and full answer to the number of accumulated problems that constrain the development of the country is limited and conditions by the options of the PS and its government. Although it is true that in the SB it was possible, given the correlations of forces and with the intervention of PCP, to ensure positive measures, it is also try that the strategic guidelines of the PS hinder a estructural answer to the central question before the country.
1.3 As the present situation reveals, the Portuguese workers and people have proof of which path can best answer its interests and aspirations; of the decisive role of PCP’s intervention; and that only intensifying their struggle and giving greater strength and broadening PCP’s influence will there be conditions to go further in the defense of their rights and achieve an alternative patriotic and left-wing policy.
II - National Situation
2.1 The country’s economic and social situation continues marked by the consequences of decades of right-wing policies, particularly worsened with the Pact of Aggression subscribed by the PS, PSD and CDS and applied by the PSD/CDS government. The destruction of rights and living conditions of the Portuguese people, the abdication of national sovereignty and disrespect for the Constitution, the strengthening of the power of monopolistic capital, together with an intense political-ideological offensive aiming the acceptance civilizational regression continue to reflect negatively upon the present situation and constrain the future evolution.
2.2 The positive elements registered in the evolution of the country’s economic situation don’t change its structural context. The economic indicators that have been disclosed (namely the growth in GDP in 2017 around 2.6%) reflect the impact of the restitution of incomes that stimulated consumption and the internal market. However, for a more positive impact in the sovereign development of the country there should be measures valuing and expanding the national productive sector. They also reflect a favorable external context, but which the country does not control: low interest rates and oil prices, influxes of liquidity by the ECB, economic growth in the main countries with whom Portugal has relations.
This situation, in addition to bringing a net job creation (although essentially based on low wages and precarious relations), also contributes towards a greater accumulation of tax revenues, a reality the PS government uses to justify and validate its option of not breaking with the right-wing policies. However, the evolution of wealth creation since the introduction of the Euro in Portugal demonstrates that, between 2002 and 2015, economic growth was practically stagnant (average annual growth in GDP of 0.7% and a drop of more than 30% in investment during that period), making it clear that, other than small conjectural oscillations, it is not possible to ensure a lasting and sustained growth within the Euro.
2.3 Portugal continues to experience profound structural problems. The right-wing policy intensified dependencies, destroyed productive capacity, weakened State structures and services, weakened the country in multiple dimensions. These problems are a consequence and were worsened by the domination of the power of monopolies over strategic sectors of the economy, with a state system shaped in its interests and a country shackled to supranational impositions and its strategy of exploitation and capitalist accumulation. The real causes of the tragedy of this year’s forest fires reveal the dimension of the lasting consequences of right-wing policies.
The strategic sectors of the economy are today dominated by national and mostly foreign monopolies, with successive governments taking the side of big capital. The scandalous situation, namely in PT [tele-communications], in CTT [postal services] or in EDP [electricity], with a growing decay of the public services provided, an attack on the rights of workers and the increase in prices and adjoining fees, together with billions of euros leaving the country, reveals an incompatibility between national interests and economic groups.
The situation in the financial sector, in the process of accelerated concentration in the hands of foreign economic groups, has been marked in the last decades by successive cases of corruption and harmful management, inseparable from the speculative nature of these groups which has already cost the Portuguese people dozens of billions of euros. Situation characterized by large number of layoffs, the closure of service counters, the costs of banks services and commissions, the credit policy oriented towards the support to non-productive sectors and parasitic and high-risk activities, the non-performing loans, associated with the objectives of the European Union and big capital of liquidating Caixa Geral de Depósitos.
The social situation continues marked by serious problems and profound injustices, including the distribution of the national income between capital and labour, to which also contribute the labor policy, the tax system and limited and insufficient budgetary options.
A policy guided by options of containment of wage growth continues. Precariousness continues assuming a large dimension; there is an increase in deregulation of work schedules, of repression and violation of rights and freedom of trade union organization and intervention, including the right to strike; collective bargaining continues subject to expiration as a threat in the hands of bosses; and the most grave norms in the Labor Code and Labor Legislation of the Public Administration were not only not reviewed, but proposals for their repeal presented by PCP in Parliament were rejected by PS, PSD and CDS. There are processes of closure and relocation, namely of multinational companies. There are also increases in prices of goods and services.
The public debt continues to be a drain on national resources, an obstacle to the development of the country and an instrument of submission of the country to the big powers and big capital. The country continues to spend more than 7 billion euros in public resources to pay interest and spends more than two billion euros in PPP and SWAP contracts, resources that are indispensable to improve the public services, increase incomes and stimulate national investment and production.
The government not only doesn’t question the submission to the Euro, but defends depending the so-called economic and monetary union. Although it says it recognises the existence of problems in working the single currency, given the undisguisable crisis of the Euro zone, the government, and PSD and CDS, continue to refuse the recovery of the sovereign currency.
The reinforcement of the national productive sector continues to not be assumed as a strategic priority. The response to the national necessities, replacing imports by national production, continues to be devalued and obfuscated by the logic of exports, as if that were sufficient to guarantee the development and sovereignty of the Country. The structural deficits — productive, energetic, scientific, demographic — occur in a country marked by profound inequalities and imbalances, including within its territory, and don’t allow the full use of existing potential for development.
Public services continue to have a lack of workers, equipments, maintenance investment and reinforcement, with consequences in providing responses to the populations. The situation in the health sector or in public transportation companies can’t find the required answer. Under the pretext of a false decentralization — which is in fact a transfer of expenses and responsibilities unfulfilled by the central administration — what is sought a transfer to local municipalities of a number of responsibilities of the central administration, leading to an increased degradation of services, worsening inequalities and accountability of the State for its constitutionally mandated social functions.
2.4 The uncertainty and dangers that mark the developments at the European and International level bring to the forefront, with increasing importance, the defense of national sovereignty in its diverse aspects, as well as the definition of a strategy that ensures it.
The class nature of the policies of the European Union and the Euro are in conflict with a need for a policy that adopts structural budgetary, economic and international relations measures, among others, that truly answer the deficits and the problems the country faces.
This is one of the in-depth issues that defines the border between the path of decades of dependence, stagnation, indebtedness and social regression — a path associated with the right-wing policy of submission to big capital and the European Union — and the unpostponable path based on development, social progress and sovereign affirmation. A path inseparable from a patriotic and left-wing policy that serves the interests of Portugal, the workers and the people and contributes towards an alternative of depth and future in the relations between sovereign states in the european continent, based on a project of a Europe of peace, cooperation and social progress, a Europe of the workers and peoples.
The recent developments confirm that the speeches of a “refoundation” of the European Union are mere propaganda. Confirming its unchangeable character, the European Union proceeds and intensifies the deepening of all its pillars, among which we highlight given its gravity: the so-called “conclusion of the Economic and Monetary Union”; the reinforcement of the Banking Union; the creation of a “european minister of finance”; the creation of a European Monetary Fund; the integration of the so-called “Budgetary Treaty” within the judicial framework of the European Union; the establishment of the “Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence (PESCO)” in the military arena; the creation of the “European Defense Fund” and the development of a “European Defence Industrial Development Program”. Register also the proposals for the reduction of the number of MPs in the European Parliament and the creation of a so-called single electoral circle, with the corresponding transnational lists.
The decisions and ongoing projects to deepen neoliberalism, militarism and federalism dismantle the propaganda that the European Union options and policies at the origin of the economic and social crisis in the european continent have suffered any changes. Neither the so-called “european pillar of social rights” nor the speeches on the “refoundation of the Euro” can erase the deliberate intention of pursuing the deepening of the European Union as an instrument of domination at the service of big capital and big powers.
Portugal will not find the solutions to its problems within the framework of the constraints and impositions of the European Union and the Euro in particular. PCP won’t give up on a future of sustained and sovereign development, with progress and social justice. It won’t resign to a Europe shackled by the European Union, marked by exploitation and asymmetries, by attacks upon democratic rights and the growth of the extreme right, and trusts that it is possible to affirm the rights of the Portuguese people for a Europe of progress, cooperation and peace between States equal in rights.
PCP reaffirms to the Portuguese people that in any circumstances, in every arena, and intransigently, it will continue to defend the national interest, the Portuguese workers and people, claiming all rights and possible resources for the country. The liberation of Portugal from the submission to the impositions of the European Union, and in particular the Euro, are condition for social progress and economic development.
PCP reaffirms there are no single paths, nor false dilemmas, on the relationship between States.
It is possible to establish real bases of solidarity and cooperation, based on affirming social, labor and democratic rights, and the sovereignty of peoples, in the action of workers and peoples, based in reality and concrete problems, assuming the inalienable right of each people to decide its national interest and own future.
2.5 With the political and electoral defeat of PSD and CDS and their defeat and removal from government, inseparable from the struggle of the Portuguese workers and people, a new phase in the national political life was opened in the last two years, with the decisive initiative and contribution of PCP.
The development of the national situation reveals the contradictions of this new phase: it was possible, as hadn’t occurred in some time, to approve measures that not only restituted liquidated rights, but also achieve new advances and conquests. But it is also true that it wasn’t possible to go even further because PS, converging with PSD and CDS, confirms its class position and its divergence with PCP, and in structural matters continues tied to options that subject Portugal to objectives that run against the national interests.
The new phase of national political life made three issues evident: the dismantling of myths about the legislative elections, revealing that the decisive issue these raise is not the election of a prime-minister, but the election of MPs and their distribution in Parliament; the defeat of the thesis that presented the path of attack upon rights, of impoverishment of the people and the country and of intensification of exploitation not only as the only possible policy but also as a condition for economic growth; the decisive importance of the reinforcement of the influence of PCP and its irreplaceable role towards a policy that answers national problems.
In the evolution and development of the political situation, we can clearly see the actions that, by revanchism and class positioning, seek internally and externally to recover the space lost by the right-wing policy.
The Central Committee of PCP alerts and denounces the development of reactionary projects that from among the forces of big capital and its associated political sectors within PSD, CDS but also PS, or resorting to the creation and promotion of populist solutions, aim to intensify exploitation and regain the path of liquidation of rights. An action that has found in the PS government and its main strategic options, a favorable factor to its objectives, widening the space of protest and use of legitimate discontent the budgetary limits foster.
The Central Committee of PCP underlines that facts such as economic growth, the deficit trajectory, the evaluation of the debt, or even the promotion to positions in EU structures, do not legitimize the inferences the PS Government seeks to make, fostering illusions about the national reality.
We note that a clearer repositioning and convergence of forces associated with the centers of big capital, both at the party and institutional level, have animated the ambition of a solution that, with or without PS, guarantees the restoration of a political power more aligned with the interests of monopolistic capital and the impositions of the EU.
Significantly, the positions and statements of prominent leaders of PS and PSD make clear their ambitions of political hegemony or their proximity in matters that for years they have shared in implementing a right-wing policy.
The Central Committee of PCP registers the developments that, after the clarification of the internal situation of PSD, are being sponsored and stimulated to recover, formally or informally, the so-called “central block” that fosters new deals for “structural reforms” (in truth, new regressions) and ensure a basis of support to political options by PS that are convergent with the right-wing policies and their promoters (namely in the interest of the European Union and big business).
The Central Committee of PCP alerts and denounces the hardening of populism and associated anti-democratic conceptions, of which the campaign around the changes to the Political Party Finance Law was an additional, and significant, moment of an anti-communist campaign and a condemnation of political action and democracy.
The Central Committee of PCP underlines the need to respect constitutional principles, such as separation of powers and the exercise of each different sovereign institution’s own competencies, and reaffirms the role these should assume to affirm democratic values, not succumbing before media campaigns and rejecting underlying populist dynamics.
2.6 The new phase of national political life confirmed the decisive role of PCP, its value, strength, influence and intervention ability.
All the measures that translated advances and steps in the improvement of living conditions, social protection and valuing pensions, in fiscal justice, in support to education and culture, in the access to health, in repealing limitations to worker’s rights and wages had the initiative, persistence and contribution of PCP.
In these two years, it was possible, with the decisive contribution of PCP and the struggle for workers and people, to achieve a number of measures that translate a real improvement of the living conditions of millions of Portuguese, as a result of the sum and conjugation of the approved measures, namely in the previous and 2018 State Budgets.
With the elimination of the IRS overtax, the increase in minimum taxable income and the introduction of two new tax brackets, work incomes will have tax relief, until the end of 2018, of around one billion euros; with the general increase of pensions and in particular the extraordinary increase achieved in the 2017 SB and the value in the 2018 SB, about 1.2 million pensioners will have an accumulated increase of 20€ in their pensions, which for years had been frozen; about a million Portuguese were benefited by the decrease in property tax (IMI) from 0.5% to 0.45%; next year more than 550 thousand children will have free school books (grade and middle school), there were strides towards the reduction of class size and about 1.1 million children and already benefiting from increases in family subsidies; 91 thousand unemployed are no longer subjected to the 10% cut in unemployment benefits; the restitution of the stole holidays was confirmed; the rights of collective bargaining were recovered for workers in the State Business Sector, as well as the retirement pension supplements, which had been stolen; the Public Administration workers, who had already regained their wages, 35 hour work schedule, and 125€ annual meal subsidy, starting 2018 will also count on thawing in career progression and the corresponding income values, although in phases, and will benefit from over-time, night work and quality time, without the cuts the Budget imposed; hundreds of thousands of micro, small and medium companies are having a tax reduction because of the reduction in the value of special payment by account; in the restaurant sector, about 75 thousand companies benefited from the impact of the reduction of VAT to 13%; after the introduction of a complement to the Property Tax for properties of high value and the elimination of Property Tax exemption for Property Funds, there was an increase from 7 to 9% of tax burden for companies with profits over 35€ million, aiming towards greater fiscal justice; the fuel benefits for fishermen and farmers — achieved in 2017 — were consolidated; more than 170 thousand university students, for the third year in a row, will have no increases in tuition and all students will benefit from student rate in public transportation; the instruments used by the PS Government to limit and even distort the reach of the measures in previous budgets will be more limited in 2018; the Christmas subsidy, whose elimination was in practice imposed by the previous government, will be fully restored for all workers and pensioners in 2018.
Several measures from the Integrated Program, presented by PCP, were also added to the 2018 SB which provide support to victims and areas affected by the forest fires of 2017, of defence of forest against fires, of valuing family agriculture and promoting Regional Development.
2.7 Breaking with a right-wing policy, independently of its implementation by PSD and CDS, or PS alone or not, building an alternative policy and achieving an alternative policy is the essential issue the Portuguese workers and people face and its achievement will only be possible with the decisive reinforcement of PCP and its influence.
In a correlation of forces that could allow answering the problems of the country, this only does not occur because the PS and its government, in convergence with PSD and CDS, confirms its commitment with the interests of big capital and its submission to the impositions of the Euro and European Union.
The advances achieved, which a PS government in other circumstances would not adopt, as it never adopted before, demonstrate the determinant value of the influence of PC and its intervention to ensure the defense and value of the rights of workers and people.
In the framework of its reaffirmed independence of political analysis and action, determined by its commitment towards the interests of workers and people, PCP has not wasted, not will it waste, any opportunity to contribute in all circumstances towards the elevation of living conditions and towards the defense, restitution and conquest of rights.
Refuting false solutions that aim to perpetuate a right-wing policy, the Central Committee of PCP highlights that, as the recent political life demonstrates, it is with PCP and the reinforcement of its political and electoral influence, with the struggle of the workers and people, and the convergence of democrats and patriots, that conditions will be created to go further in answering the problems of the country, in breaking with right-wing policies, in giving shape to an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, and ensure a government capable of implementing such a policy.
2.8 Portugal needs an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy in the service of the workers, people and country.
A patriotic policy where national interests prevail when faced with external impositions, particularly from the European Union, which diversifies economic relations in a framework of cooperation with other peoples and nations and isn’t subject to threats and blackmail from bif powers, which assumes national production as an aim, a source of wealth, of employment and welfare for the Portuguese people, which promotes peace instead of submitting the country to the agenda of imperialism, which recovers parts of its lost sovereignty, returning to the Portuguese people the right to decide its future.
A left-wing policy that, breaking with the right-wing policy, values work and workers, wages and rights as a condition and objective of economic development, which ensures public control over strategic sectors of the economy, which promotes a just distribution of wealth, more fiscal justice, which fights inequalities in society and its territory, which ensures quality public serves for all, which reinforces social benefits and rights, which supports micro, small and medium companies and stimulates an economic development not dominated by monopolies.
The achievement of a patriotic and left-wing policy that PCP proposed for the Portuguese people entails as indispensable elements a rupture of the country with the its constraints, liberation from the submission to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union, the renegotiation of the public debt in its deadlines, rates and amounts, the recovery of the public control over the banking system and remaining strategic sectors and their orientation towards the service of the people and country.
A patriotic and left-wing policy that PCP proposes to the Portuguese people answers their aspirations and rights, recovers the instruments that were expropriated from the country and aims to ensure the means towards its development, affirming the values of April and a path for a Portugal with a future.
III - The mass struggle
3.1 The struggle of the workers and the people remains, as it always has been, the decisive element to resist, to win back, defend and achieve new rights, and to secure an alternative policy.
3.2 There has been an intense mass struggle in sectors, companies and workplaces. A struggle that was often victorious and which had a strong expression on the day of action convened by CGTP-IN on November 18th, with a large national demonstration on the streets of Lisbon, inseparable from the ongoing struggle in companies and workplaces.
It has been a struggle centered on the fundamental problems of the workers, wages, working hours, precariousness, in defense of collective bargaining rights, such as the [struggle of the] workers of the Aljustrel and Neves-Corvo mines; of Randstad; of Panpor; of Fisipe; of Sumol + Compal; of ICA; of supermarket and hypermarket workers and workers of shopping malls and logistic centers; of APAPOL; of CTT [Postal Services]; of Setofresa; of Pizza Hut; Petrogal and EFATM; of Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira; of ThyssenKrupp Elevators; of the Red Cross Hospital; of the EDP contact centers; of FNAC; of Autoeuropa; of COFACO-Pico; the contact center of the Trofa Health group; of Foamy Sparkle; of Efacec; of CelCat; of Sorgal; of Ambilital; of ManpowerGroup Solutions; of Triumph/Gramax; of the Iberian Silk; of Iberlim; of Uniself; of Prestibel; of the Arsenal do Alfeite; of Public Administration workers, namely the operational assistants of schools, of IFFP, of teachers, health workers, the diagnostic and therapeutic technicians, of prison guards; of ASAE; and so many other struggles that have put pressure on employers and made clearer the class options of the PS [Socialist Party], in particular in matters related to labor legislation, highlighting its attachment to big capital and its interests.
Contrary to existing needs and possibilities, the increase in the National Minimum Wage from January 1st, which was a step forward that cannot be dissociated from the PCP’s intervention and the workers’ struggle, fell short of the €600 demanded by PCP, because PS, in tune with the great capital and with the complicity of the BE [Left Bloc], refused this. In the current situation, due to technological developments and their manipulation with a view to increasing exploitation, strong action is required to put development at the service of working people with a view to increasing wages, reducing working hours and diversifying the funding sources of Social Security.
3.3 Confronted with the problems in public services and the lack of response, various community struggles have been waged, in particular in defense of the National Health Service, public transport and the right to mobility, in defense of the public postal service and against the destruction of CTT. The community struggles, convergent with the struggle of the workers, have been decisive for the defense of the public services, for the public exposure of the consequences of privatizations and to demand an alternative policy for the country.
3.4 There is a need to intensify the struggle of workers in sectors, companies and work places, with their indispensable contribution to broaden the social front of struggle, involving a wide participation of the population, of youth, and all anti-monopoly sectors and strata.
Noteworthy are: the celebrations of March 8th, International Women’s Day, and in particular the convening of the National Women’s Demonstration by MDM [Democratic Women’s Movement], on March 10th in Lisbon; the March 28 National Youth Day, in particular the national demonstration of working youth, which asserts the struggle to defend the rights of youth; the preparation of the May 1st events, as an expression of the struggle for workers’ demands in each company and sector and as a major day of struggle of all workers. It is in the persistence of the struggle, based on concrete goals, in companies, workplaces and communities, that reside the conditions to advance the defense, restoration and achievement of new rights as far as possible, contributing to break with the right-wing policies and opening the way to a patriotic and left-wing policy.
IV - The international situation
4.1 The international situation is marked by great instability and uncertainty, by growing dangers, resulting from the exploitative and aggressive offensive by imperialism, in particular US imperialism. It is also marked by a process of world-wide reorganization of forces that increasingly confronts the major world imperialist powers with the peoples and countries that assert their sovereignty and independence and their right to development, especially the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, among other important examples. US imperialism’s offensive which is accompanied - despite contradictions - by its allies, and its clear option for militarism, destabilization, interference, nuclear blackmail, and war - options that are clearly expressed in the recently released “US National Security Strategy”, in the ongoing militaristic trend in the European Union, and in the growth of Japanese militarism - are inseparable from the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism, particularly in the capitalist economy. Within the framework of a limited recovery of the economic and financial crisis that erupted in 2007/2008, the same policies of accumulation and speculation persist, and may lead the world economy to a new crisis peak.
4.2 The PCP’s Central Committee draws attention to the seriousness of the accumulating tensions and danger of war in various parts of the world.
The Central Committee of the PCP vehemently condemns the unlawful decision by the US Administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a provocation that constitutes an open violation of international law, fueling Israel’s policy of State terrorism, and which is inseparable from imperialist and Zionist strategies in the Middle East. Within the framework of its military and political defeats in Syria, the US and its allies are redirecting threats, provocations and destabilization against other countries in the region, notably Iran, as demonstrated by the US Administration’s threats to tear up the Nuclear Agreement, the attempted destabilization of Lebanon, the intensified aggression against Yemen, not forgetting the continued Israeli and US provocations in Syria. Such a strategy seeks to prevent any possible stabilization of the situation in the Middle East and may lead to a further military escalation with consequences well beyond this region.
The Central Committee of the PCP warns against the successive US threats and provocations to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, that feed a militaristic escalation of enormous danger and which aim at distancing the Korean people’s goal and right to the peaceful reunification of Korea and to put an end to foreign military presence. The Central Committee of the PCP values efforts to promote a detente in the situation and a political solution to the conflict, safeguarding the right of the Korean people to peace and contributing to a course of abolishing nuclear weapons and to their non-proliferation.
4.3 The PCP Central Committee notes with concern the formation of the new Austrian government with the participation of a fascist force and denounces the actions of political persecution against Communist Parties and other democratic forces in several Eastern European countries, notably in Ukraine and Poland. The PCP Central Committee stresses that the growth of far-right forces in Europe is inseparable from the European Union’s policies of attacking labor, social and sovereign rights. As the PCP warned, such policies would fuel the growth of reactionary and far-right nationalisms. The PCP Central Committee stresses that the fight against the extreme right cannot be waged with more federalist leaps in the European Union, as defended by the political forces responsible for the current political situation in Europe - right-wing and social democracy. These are the same forces that invoke the fight against the far-right to justify the “more European Union” strategy, whilst simultaneously supporting regimes like the Ukrainian regime, and promoting anti-communism as a European Union doctrine.
4.4 The PCP Central Committee considers that a policy of submission to the interests of the big powers of the European Union and NATO, which calls into question central elements of national sovereignty and independence, does not serve Portugal’s interests and accentuates the country’s vulnerability. The PCP’s Central Committee expresses its frontal opposition to Portugal’s participation in the so-called “Reinforced Strategic Cooperation” of a military nature in the European Union and reiterates the PCP’s opposition to Portugal’s participation in foreign military missions at the service of NATO and the main imperialist powers.
4.5 The Central Committee of PCP affirms its long-standing position in defense of the abolition of nuclear weapons. It welcomes the Portuguese organizations of the peace movement, in particular CPPC, which undertake initiatives for Portugal to sign the Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and underlines the crucial importance of strengthening the struggle for peace and disarmament.
4.6 The Central Committee of the PCP expresses the PCP’s solidarity with all peoples who, in various regions of the world, are engaged in a tenacious resistance struggle, which, as the Syrian case demonstrates, can inflict heavy defeats on imperialism. [The PCP] reaffirms, in particular, its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle to build the Palestinian State in the pre-1967 borders and with capital in East Jerusalem, and calls for mobilization in defense of the Palestinian people and against Israel’s aggressions and crimes and US provocations. It greets the peoples of Latin America who continue to fight for their rights and sovereignty: in Argentina, in defense of their social rights; in Honduras, denouncing electoral fraud and repression by the US-backed dictatorial regime; in Colombia, supporting the peace process and in Brazil, continuing the struggle for democracy and against the policy of the Temer government. [The PCP] greets the Venezuelan revolutionary and progressive forces that won important electoral victories in the recent regional and local elections, and repudiates the destabilization campaign by the US and its allies against Venezuela. [The PCP] expresses its firm solidarity with socialist Cuba and calls for mobilization to end the criminal US blockade against this country and its people.
4.7 The PCP Central Committee values the Party’s international activity, in solidarity with various peoples in struggle, strengthening bilateral relations and strengthening the Communist and revolutionary movement and the anti-imperialist front. In this regard, it underlines the importance and results of the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held on the occasion of the Centennial of the October Revolution in the city of St. Petersburg, in the Russian Federation, which brought together about a hundred parties, as well as the holding at the same time of the International Forum of Left Forces in Moscow, which brought together more than 130 parties and organizations.
V - Strengthening the Party and its political initiative
5.1 The Central Committee of the PCP greets the Party activists who, through their committed work, ensure a wide-ranging activity. It stresses the need to continue an intense intervention by articulating a strong political initiative and stimulus to the development of mass struggle and to strengthen broad-based organizations and mass movements, with institutional action in the Assembly of the Republic, the European Parliament, the Regional Legislative Assemblies and Local Authorities, and with the strengthening of Party organization and the internationalist action of the PCP, thereby asserting the Communist ideal and project.
5.2 The Central Committee of the PCP, within the framework of the necessary response which the country’s situation requires, points out the need to continue our information work, stressing the struggle and affirming the Party’s role and contribution in defending, restoring and winning new rights, guided by its commitment to the workers and the people. An action that clarifies and mobilizes the workers, democrats and patriots and makes it clear that it is only possible to achieve more significant advances with the struggle for an alternative course for the country, that breaks with right-wing policies and asserts the patriotic and left-wing policies that Portugal needs.
5.3 The PCP Central Committee decides, within the framework of the Party’s action and initiative, the following priority guidelines: defending workers’ rights, the demand for higher wages, the fight against deregulating working hours and precariousness, the elimination of the harmful aspects of labor legislation; the increase in public investment that can guarantee the improvement in public services, the National Health Service, public Education, Social Security, public transport and infrastructure, housing, security forces and services; the expansion of support for children; the defense of the rural world; the promotion of the productive apparatus and of national production; the defense and assertion of national sovereignty.
In this regard, it highlights: a national campaign to clarify, inform and contact workers, starting in February; the implementation of actions in defense of the public services, including the National Meetings of the PCP on the situation in education and healthcare, respectively on March 17 and April 21, and a day of action against the deterioration of postal services and for public control of [the] CTT [post office company] on February 8. Also planned are an initiative on forests and the rural world on March 20, and a meeting on the situation and problems of the MPMEs [small and medium-sized companies] on April 15.
5.4 The PCP Central Committee considers that the commemorations of the 97th anniversary of the Party and the 87th anniversary of Avante!, which are an integral part of the activity to strengthen the Party, are a moment to come together, expand and assert the Party’s identity and its project for an advanced democracy, with the values of April in the future of Portugal, for socialism and communism.
5.5 The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the importance of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, celebrations; of Student’s Day on March 24, and of the National Youth Day on March 28; of the popular celebrations of the 44th anniversary of the April Revolution; and the 1st of May as a great moment in the workers’ struggle.
5.6 The Central Committee of the PCP underscores the importance of the commemorations of the Second Centenary of the birth of Karl Marx, which the Party will mark throughout the year 2018, under the motto “II Centenary of Karl Marx’s birth - legacy, intervention, struggle. Transform the world”. These commemorations will begin on February 24 and 25 with the holding of a Conference at the Voz do Operário in Lisbon. Also included in the program of commemorations is a rally in Porto on May 5th, Karl Marx’s birthday, and the Evocative Session of 170 years of the Manifesto of the Communist Party on April 6, in Almada, among other events.
5.7 The PCP Central Committee calls on Party organizations and members to engage in the activities to publicize and prepare the Avante! Festival, which will take place on September 7, 8 and 9, and in particular to promotion and extend the militant network to ensure early sales of the Permanent Entrance (EP) [tickets for the Festival].
5.8 The PCP Central Committee highlights this year’s holding of a large number of assemblies of [Party] organizations and reaffirms the priority of strengthening the Party, taking into account and implementing, in an integrated way, the guidelines set by the 20th [Party] Congress for a stronger PCP. This must be done taking into account each organization’s reality, the [overall] situation’s requirements and developments, as stated in the relevant Central Committee resolution that identified goals, lines of work and measures.
The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the decisive role that strengthening the Party assumes, in the framework of the guidelines decided by the XX Congress, ensuring a stronger, more active PCP in the struggle with the workers and the people for a patriotic and left-wing policy, for an advanced democracy with the values of April in the future of Portugal, for socialism and communism.