The Central Committee of the PCP, meeting on June 28, 2021, analysed aspects of the national and international situation, the development of the mass struggle, the preparation of Local Elections and the strengthening of the Party's organisation and initiative.
I – International situation
1.The international situation remains characterised by the continuation of imperialism's aggressive offensive, but also by important expressions of resistance and struggle by the workers and peoples, which prove that imperialism does not have a free hand to impose its aims and hegemony.
In terms of its foreign policy, the US continues the line of confrontation carried out by the Trump Administration, despite tactical and cyclical differences, intensifying it in various areas and fields. With the slogan “America is back”, the Biden Administration not only does not hide, but also affirms that its main goal is to defend the hegemony of US imperialism at the global level, proclaiming as a threat to the “security” of the USA the economic and technological development of the People's Republic of China and seeking to unite its NATO, European Union and Asia/Pacific allies around its aggressive strategy, as shown by the recent visit of the US President to Europe.
Despite contradictions between the US and other major capitalist powers, the recent G7 and NATO summits represent new and dangerous steps in the policy of confrontation with China and Russia, in the militarisation of international relations, in the arms race, in interference and aggression against countries and peoples – exemplified by the recent coercive measures adopted by the EU targeting Belarus and its people.
To conceal its policy of confrontation, aggression and affront to the principles of the United Nations Charter and International Law, US imperialism promotes a hypocritical and false "alliance of democracies", when in reality it is responsible for a policy of systematic disregard for sovereignty and democracy, supporting authoritarian and fascistic regimes, promoting coups d'état, imposing economic blockades, attacking militarily, being responsible for the denial of fundamental rights to millions of human beings.
Particularly significant in capitalism’s nature is the insistence on its neo-colonial purposes expressed in the announced initiatives under the pretext of combating the pandemic or in the much-flaunted “investment” projects in developing countries, namely in Africa, as well as the various ongoing initiatives in the fiscal area, with emphasis on the announcement of the attempt to create a global “minimum tax”, which in practice aims to guarantee a widespread lowering of taxes.
2. The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the importance of notable expressions of anti-imperialist resistance, as in Cuba, Venezuela or Syria, and of mobilisations and popular struggles, as in Palestine, India, Colombia, Brazil or in Peru.
The Central Committee of the PCP values the multiple actions that have been carried out in Portugal in solidarity with peoples who are victims of imperialism's interference and aggression, on the struggle for peace, disarmament and dissolution of NATO, and which denounce the foreign policy of the Portuguese Government of alignment with the confrontation policy of the US, NATO and EU, in disregard of the principles of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
The Central Committee of the PCP, while warning of the serious dangers resulting from imperialism’s policy of confrontation, expresses its confidence in the resistance and struggle of the workers and peoples, the strengthening of cooperation and unity among communist parties and other progressive and anti-imperialist forces and the strengthening of the international communist and revolutionary movement to halt imperialism’s offensive and pave the way for the construction of a new international order of peace, sovereignty and social progress.
II – National situation
1.The popular celebrations of the 25th. of April, in 2021, as well as the massive participation in the May Day struggle and in the National Demonstration on May 8, in Porto, organised by the CGTP-IN, extending the dynamics of struggle of the last few months, constitute important features of national life and reveal the willingness of the workers and people to act in defence of their rights and demands and confirm the strength, rooting and topicality of the April values.
Portuguese society continues having structural deficits in terms of production, science and technology, energy or demographics, with problems accumulated by decades of right-wing policy promoted by the PS, PSD and CDS, which have been worsened by the impacts of the epidemic and the use that has been made of it by big capital to enhance exploitation, generating social problems associated with unemployment, poverty, the increase in the price of goods and services - energy, food and others - the insufficiency of social support, the difficulties and even bankruptcy of thousands of MSMEs, the various lasting limitations on the implementation of numerous economic, social, cultural and sporting activities.
Problems that do not find in the action of the PS Government - which is subject to the interests of big capital and the impositions of the EU and the Euro - solutions to face them, an option that is even more unjustifiable as it has, namely in the 2021 State Budget, measures and means, set down by the intervention of the PCP, to respond to them.
Moreover, the national situation portrays the projects of big capital, expressed in the articulation of the political intervention of the main monopolist groups, with the creation of the so-called Business Roundtable Portugal (BRP) or in the top structure of the employers' confederations, and in the reactionary action with the promotion of PSD, CDS and their surrogates Chega and Iniciativa Liberal, clearly visible in the readiness shown by the President of the PSD to move forward with a process of Constitutional Amendment aimed at subverting the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic. A process in which initiatives such as the so-called Movement Europe and Freedom (MEL) are inserted which, taking up lines of aggregation of the interests of monopoly capital already present in previous moments, gave expression and exposure to the political representation of these interests.
2. The PS government insists on pursuing a policy of favouring and covering the manoeuvres of economic groups, such as Galp, EDP, Novo Banco, CTT, Global Media Group or, more recently, the Altice Group, which continues the process of dismantling Portugal Telecom.
Noteworthy is the fact that in 2020, the year of particular impact of the epidemic, the shareholders of the group of the largest companies, namely NOS, Sonae, Brisa, Galp Energia, EDP, CTT, Jerónimo Martins, Corticeira Amorim, received 7.4 billion euros in dividends, 332 million more than in 2019.
Submission to the interests of big business, which is particularly clear at a time when life came to prove that, as the PCP warned and denounced, the Labour Code and successive amendments introduced a set of grievous rules that further unbalance labour relations in disfavour of workers, which, along with other measures to favour big business, aim to downgrade wages, promote precariousness, enforce long and unregulated working hours, attack collective bargaining and the rights it enshrines, facilitate dismissals, in short, devalue work and increase exploitation.
With the excuse of the response that had to be given to the demands introduced by the epidemic, the government presented the so-called "Green Paper on the future of work" which, instead of promoting the removal of those norms, introduces new factors and manipulative concepts, such as the so-called " right to disconnect" which attacks the working hours conquered by the workers.
3.The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms that the solutions to the national problems will not come, as they never did, from miraculous operations from abroad, subject to the logic of the interests of the directorates of the great powers of the EU, but rather demand a determination in the use of instruments available to the government, namely in the State Budget, to expand and consolidate national production, to defend and valorise work and workers, to invest in public services, namely in the National Health Service and Public Education and in the social functions of the State .
The budgetary policy, besides being conditioned by the draconian criteria of the Euro, its framework and options, is subject to a preliminary evaluation by Brussels, as seen in the mandatory submission of the 2021/2025 Stability Plan, sent by the government to the European Commission.
A Plan where the intention of a quick return to a past of "dictatorship" of the deficit is clear, calling into question the necessary economic recovery, delaying the implementation of measures included in the State Budget, and maintaining the same restrictions that have prevented, namely, the hiring of thousands of workers lacking in the Central and Local Public Administration, or the growth of productive public investment systematically denied.
The combination in the coming months and years of availability of public resources from both the so-called Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Multiannual Financial Frameworks, instead of constituting a basis for leveraging the country's economic recovery, remains subject to benchmarks and options determined by the great powers, is not aimed at solving the country's economic and social problems, falls short in responding to its structural deficits, namely a policy of replacing imports by national production, and is the target of a gigantic pressure carried out by economic groups, domestic and foreign, so that, as in the past, these resources are meant to increase their profits.
It should also be noted that the so-called EU funds, over the years such as those now announced, trumpeted as support for Portugal, are far from compensating the losses for the country resulting from the entry into the EEC, the Single Market and the Single Currency, with the resulting destruction of productive capacity and employment, which enhanced structural deficits, and a draining of colossal resources abroad, in payments, profits, dividends or interest.
4.The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union confirms the PS government's alignment with the guidelines and policies of the European Union, namely in their most negative traits, determined by the interests of the main powers and big capital. From the deepening of the Single Market to concertation with the US, within the framework of NATO, in pursuing the strategic goals of imperialism’s aggressive agenda, passing through the reinforcement of the concentration of powers at the supranational level, aggravating limitations to the exercise of national sovereignty and independence.
The so-called “Social Summit”, held in Porto, confirmed, despite the propaganda, the real intention of levelling downwards the living and working conditions in the European Union, taking the attack on social and labour rights even further, now under the pretext of so-called “digital” and “green” transitions..
The “Conference on the Future of Europe” aims, under an alleged and false democratic legitimacy, to deepen the EU policies that are at the origin of the worsening of social inequalities, the growing development asymmetries and the relations of domination/dependence between countries.
It confirms a framework of significant constraints on the use of funds, whether within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, or within the scope of the 2021-2027 Financial Framework, whose implementation is delayed given the needs. At the same time, the review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) does not ensure the answer to the problems faced by national agriculture but confirms itself as the cause of these problems.
Revealing an unyielding defence of the interests and profits of multinational pharmaceutical consortia, to which it channelled large public resources, the EU continues to oppose the lifting of patents on vaccines against COVID-19, hindering the rapid advance of vaccination, which is essential to save lives and ensure the resumption of economic, social, cultural and sporting activities.
5. The Central Committee of the PCP draws attention to the fact that the so-called reform of the higher structure of the Armed Forces aims at a significant change in the high command structure, not responding to problems that have persisted for many years and deepening their governmentalisation.
The Central Committee of the PCP, in a context of great media coverage and instrumentalization of legal cases related to corruption, points out that these cases and the impunity that surrounds them are inherent to the nature of capitalism and its logic of accumulation, have roots in the privatisation process, in a policy of instrumentalization of the State in favour of economic groups and in the web of interests and complicity that it creates, which are enhanced by the shortage of means to combat them.
The Central Committee of the PCP alerts to the delay in the adoption of measures that respond to problems that have been raised for a long time, some of which are even included, through the initiative of the PCP, in the State Budget, regarding security forces and services.
6. The PCP has tabled solutions that respond to the scale of national problems and the inequalities and injustices that persist.
Nothing prevented the government from embarking on a different path, were it not for the deliberate option of not letting go the commitments, which limit, condition and even deny responses that can no longer be postponed.
Not only does it fail to do so, but it maintains a convergence with the PSD in structural matters, serving the interests of big capital and subordination to EU impositions.
Answers and solutions are needed, both within and outside the State Budget, under penalty of opening the way to the worsening of the situation.
There are choices you need to make. In terms of valuing work and workers with the general increase in wages and the National Minimum Wage, including the salaries in Public Administration, with the repeal of the grievous norms of labour legislation, from the outset the end of the expiry of collective bargaining, and with the reinstatement of the principle of more favourable treatment to the workers, with the fight against precariousness and deregulation of working hours and by their effective reduction. By investing in the NHS and responding to its professionals, namely, with the valorisation of careers and pay. By the increase of effective public investment. By the general increase in pensions, without leaving out those who have had more social security payments. By valorising national production. By supporting children and the elderly.
There is an alternative. The time is ripe for countering the PS government's submission to the interests of big capital and the impositions of the EU, which prevents a response to national problems, and for the anti-democratic and fascistic arrogance that aggravates them, an alternative policy that affirms the April values with what they mean in terms of rights, progress and social justice, sovereignty and national independence.
The time is for options that respond to the problems of the workers, the people and the Country. This is what the Government must respond to. The PCP will determine its political intervention always based on its commitment to the workers and the people.
It is time for the patriotic and left-wing alternative policies that the PCP proposes and embodies.
III – Mass struggle
1.The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the intense struggle developed and underway, a process that assumes particular importance in the context of the economic and social situation and the necessary solution to national problems.
The Central Committee of the PCP particularly values, due to its significance, the celebrations of the 25th of April, held again this year on the streets, the great May Day struggle that took place all over the country, and the demonstration on May 8 in Porto (at the time of the so-called EU Social Summit), organised by the CGTP-IN, demonstrations of mobilisation and struggle of the workers and people, as well as demonstrations promoted by Interjovem/CGTP-IN, on March 25, in Lisbon and Porto, involving thousands of young workers.
The Central Committee of the PCP also highlights the importance of several initiatives, elections and trade union congresses, among which the national conferences of Inter-Reformed, on April 16, and of the Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CIMH), on June 2, as well as the XXII National Meeting of Workers' Committees, held on May 14.
2. The struggle of the workers carried out during this period in defence of their rights and claims was the fundamental feature of the mass action and convergence of the struggle.
Convergence also resulting from the claiming action and the struggle in companies and workplaces that, simultaneously, contributes to this same struggle for rights and wages, against precariousness and deregulation of working hours and unemployment.
The struggle in companies, sectors and workplaces, with different forms and expressions, strikes, concentrations and demonstrations, assumed great intensity during this period, revealing, on the one hand, the existing problems but also the workers' ability to respond.
The Central Committee of the PCP salutes, among many others: the struggle of Coelima workers; of SUCH; the Holy Mercy Homes from Guimarães and Póvoa de Varzim; of Arepal; of Solimpa; of Essegur; of large distribution company workers; of the Dia Minipreço warehouses; of Águas de Portugal; of EPAL; of the Cleaning Services of Hospital S. João; of Ambijardim 2; of the Casinos; of Boavista Bingo; of Belenenses Bingo; of the Inatel Foundation; of the Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection; of the Parque da Floresta – Golf Santo António; of the JJW Group; of canteens, cafeterias, meal producers and concession bars; of the Galicia Brewery; of Iguaria and Louripan pastry shops; of Eurest; of Avipronto; from Super Bock; from Nestle; of Probar; of CP and IP workers; of the Lisbon Underground; of the TST; of Soflusa; of Transtejo; of the Metro Sul do Tejo; from Scotturb; of CarrisBus; from Via Porto; of the Port Administrations; of the CTT; of Amtrol-Alpha; of AutoEurope; from Vanpro; from the Panasqueira Mines; from Hutchinson; of Statusvoga; of Euromex; from Visteon; of the New DS Smith Packaging; from Eugster/Frismag; from Otis Elevators; from Viroc; of Schnellecke Logistics Portugal; from Sicman; from Exide; Santos Barosa; of the Logistics Glass; of Eurofins; of EDP; from Gefco; of AptiV; of the MDA; from EDP's contact centres in Elvas, Lisbon and Seia; of Petrogal; of workers on digital platforms; of RTP; from EMEL; of Ambilital; of teachers and scientific workers; of nurses; of the bailiffs; of the wild life guards; of the rangers; of prison guards; of police officers; from the Social Security Institute; of the Central and Local Public Administration, where the national day of struggle convened by the Common Front of Public Administration Unions stands out for its dimension, with strikes and concentrations on May 20.
3. The Central Committee of the PCP also salutes the actions of struggle of the students of higher and secondary education, with particular expression on April 28, the initiatives of the user committees of health and the national demonstration of small and medium farmers and users of common lands, promoted by the National Confederation of Agriculture (CNA) on June 14.
4. The Central Committee of the PCP, valorising the response and initiative of workers, populations and various sectors, calls for the intensification and development of the struggle, namely within the scope of the June 21 to July 15 days of struggle, promoted by the CGTP-IN, for the general increase in wages, for employment with rights, for the repeal of the grievous norms of the Labour Legislation.
IV – Local Elections
1. The Local Elections face, in the ongoing work in all the organisations, a decisive phase in their preparation, inseparable from the achievement of the objectives defined by the XXI Congress. The constitution of slates with what they imply of presence, direct intervention, involvement and future rooting; accountability for the work performed; the participative elaboration of electoral programmes and commitments; the dynamization of the CDU in every locality, confirming it, by participating in the slates and supporting candidates, as a broad space of democratic participation - are a concrete expression of the demands placed to fight the electoral battle with success.
A work that requires an increasing concentration of attention and energies all the more necessary since, in the action of others, we find methods and procedures that overstep the field of debate and electoral disputes, an example of which is the use of lies and smears, the abuse of public means and the instrumentalization of the State apparatus to serve the government party's campaign, the manipulation using reactionary conceptions of feelings of dissatisfaction or the use of false candidacies of “independents”, once again proven vehicles of personal projects, economic interests or disguised coalitions.
The affirmation of CDU, deserving support and future guarantee, gains added value in this situation - with its distinctive project, its own name and symbol, with its recognised work and job done -, identified in all circumstances with the interests of the populations, for what it means in terms of work, honesty and competence.
2. Elections in which the CDU will intervene affirming the value of Democratic Local Administration as an achievement of April and, for the work it carries out and as testimony and proof it gives that in politics they are not all equal, that power must be exercised by serving the populations, responding to their aspirations, making the collective interest a priority.
An intervention that should also constitute a moment and opportunity, with the strengthening of the CDU, to defend and affirm the Local Government, its autonomy and the conditions for exercising its attributions and competences, an issue that is all the more important since with the PS and with the active complicity of PSD and CDS, aided by Chega and Iniciativa Liberal (and in one or another subject with the support of BE, as was the case with the legislation on the creation of parishes), guidelines to demean it remain present.
In this regard, note the PS General Secretary’s statements confirming essentially that regionalisation is to be postponed and subordinated to a strategy of transferring charges to local government, disclaiming the State's responsibility in social fields and functions that the State must assume, harming populations, their living conditions and their rights. Or, with equal intensity, the inhibition of the replacement of parishes according to the will of the populations that, eliminated in 2013 by the PSD/CDS government, will not be returned to the population in 2021, as in 2017, in a process in which the Law of creation now adopted in the Assembly of the Republic not only does not respond to the reparation of this injustice, but also contains provisions and criteria that, in essence, aim to prevent the creation of a significant number of parishes.
3. The Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance of local elections which, integrated into the general action of the Party and in the struggle for better living conditions, can and should constitute a moment of affirmation of the project and the municipal work of the PCP and the CDU, inseparable from the alternative policy that the country needs.
V – Action and strengthening of the Party
1.The Central Committee of the PCP emphasises, in a period of great demand, the strong political intervention of the Party and the contribution it gave to the development of the mass struggle, in articulation with the work of strengthening the organisation.
In the Party's intense activity, the following stand out: the stimulating action given to the success of the celebrations of the 47th. anniversary of the 25th. of April; the day of struggle of May Day and the National Demonstration of May 8, in Porto; the campaign on employment with rights, against exploitation; action with parents and children on rights; the development of the roadmap for national production; the implementation of a programme of initiatives in defence of sovereign development; intervention in the defence and strengthening of the NHS and for rapid vaccination of all; the promotion of initiatives to valorise culture and the rights of its workers; an intense institutional action (in terms of the Assembly of the Republic, the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, the Local Government and the European Parliament); actions on peace and internationalist solidarity.
2. The Central Committee of the PCP congratulates the Portuguese Communist Youth for the success of its 12th. Congress, held on May 15 and 16, under the motto “A thousand struggles on the path of April. Organise. Transform." A Congress, marked by the focus on the problems and aspirations of the youth, as well as by the joy, determination and combativeness during the proceedings and in the parade through the streets of Vila Franca de Xira, which pointed out ways to continue strengthening the JCP.
3. The Central Committee of the PCP valorises the set of initiatives carried out in the implementation of the programme of the Celebrations of the Centenary of the Party, following the historic Day of March 6 throughout the country, to which the supplement of Avante! of May 6, gave expression, namely, the initiatives “The PCP and the 25th of April”, “150 years of the Paris Commune – struggle for the emancipation of the workers” and “The PCP and the emancipation of women. A centuries-old struggle, of the present and of the future” and also the many presentation sessions of the book “100 years of struggle at the service of the People and the Homeland, for democracy and socialism”, the Visual Arts Exhibitions and the Regional Exhibitions.
4. The Central Committee of the PCP points out as priority features of the Party's intervention:
The stimulus and support to the action and struggle of workers, in companies and workplaces and the struggle of the populations, and the strengthening of mass unitary organisations and movements.
The development of the political initiative and the affirmation of the PCP, highlighting the continuation of the roadmap for national production, the defence of workers' rights and Public Services, in particular the NHS and Public Schools.
The preparation of local elections, an important mass political battle, affirming the CDU and its project of work, honesty and competence.
The preparation of the 45th. Avante! Festival, which will be held on September 3, 4 and 5, setting as fundamental tasks for the entire party collective the dissemination of the Festival and its programme, the expansion of the distribution of the EP entry pass and its advance sale, the construction with the participation in working days and mobilisation for the various tasks related to is functioning.
The continuation of the implementation of the programme of the Party's Centenary Celebrations under the motto “Freedom, Democracy, Socialism – the future has a Party”..
5.The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the work carried out to strengthen the Party, namely in terms of organisation and intervention with the working class and workers and the National Funding Campaign “The Future has a Party”..
The action to strengthen the Party's organisation in companies and workplaces, for the creation of 100 new cells of companies, workplaces or sector and the definition of 100 new leaders, was an important success with the creation of 102 new cells and the definition of 119 new leaders.
The National Funding Campaign “The Future has a Party” already met a great response from the organisation, Party members and also supporters and friends, with different intensity and results, and now implies the holding of the foreseen or scheduled contacts, the materialisation of the commitments made and not yet completed and the completion of its financial and political evaluation.
6. In the current situation, implementing the decisions of the XXI Congress, these are priority orientations pointed out for the strengthening of the Party.
Greater attention to the policy of cadres with the survey, accountability, monitoring, help and training of cadres, for the general reinforcement of the leadership, structuring and intervention of the Party at various levels.
The strengthening of the Party's organisation and intervention with the working class and workers, in companies and workplaces, with the consolidation of the advances made in the creation of cells and definition of new leaders, highlighting the valorisation of the work of those responsible for cells , their inclusion in organisms, monitoring and individual help and the functioning of cells with a content centred on the problems of the workers, on their organisation, unity and struggle, on recruitment and on the general work of the Party.
The continuation of the strengthening of local organisations by attributing responsibilities to cadres and a content centred on mass intervention, on the preparation of slates for local elections and on the development of a mass electoral campaign.
The recruitment of new militants with the dynamization of the National Recruitment Campaign “The Future has a Party” decided by the XXI Congress, highlighting the hundreds of new members who have joined the Party. A campaign focused on party building, with the goal of recruiting 5000 new militants, for which it is necessary to ensure a programming and dynamization in each organisation, based on work and initiative of contact between each Party member and those around him, by surveying names, defining priority sectors, companies and places, objectives and phasing the campaign that will run until April 2023 and which includes the work for the integration and attributing responsibilities to new militants.
The reinforcement of propaganda structures and work and boosting the dissemination of the Avante! and O Militante.
The affirmation of the financial independence of the Party with the implementation of the Campaign decided within the framework of the Centenary of the Party, with the goal of increasing membership dues, addressed to all Party members, regardless of the value of their current dues. With this Campaign it is intended that Party members increase the value of their dues, according to their possibilities and the needs of the Party; that more comrades set a minimum of 1% of their income - the reference base - as the monthly dues, and that, if not being able to reach this value, they increase the monthly dues by at least one euro. At the same time, the objective of updating membership dues and the need to increase the number of comrades responsible for collecting dues and expanding the use of other means available for regular payment, namely bank transfers, is very important. A campaign that is important to boost and should be programmed to speed in October and be completed in March 2022.
The Central Committee of the PCP, in view of the demands that are placed on the party organisation, due to the political, economic and social situation, expresses its confidence in the energy and capacity of the party collective to, honouring its heritage of struggle, respond to the tasks that it faces, the struggles for the political alternative and for the patriotic and left-wing alternative policy, for the Advanced Democracy with the April Values in the future of Portugal, for Socialism.