Speech by Paulo Raimundo, General Secretary of the PCP, CDU Party/Get-together

If a country's development were measured by privatisations, our country would be at the top

If a country's development were measured by privatisations, our country would be at the top

Here we are, confident, determined, full of life and with a great joy to live, fight and make a change.

The challenges we face are many, but they are not big enough to discourage us, on the contrary, each one of them gives us even more strength.

We do not underestimate the difficulties, but here we are, firm, determined, with a great joy to live and fight.

And so it is, to the annoyance of the champions and beneficiaries of right-wing policies.

Those protagonists and beneficiaries, those happy and very comfortable with the current situation.

Of those who use all the means they have, which are many and powerful, to lie, distort, silence and manipulate.

But it goes without saying that how peaceful their lives would be if there were no one to fight them and mobilise against their policy of exploitation.

How it would suit them if nobody denounced the scandal of 42% of all wealth being in the hands of the richest 5%.

A concentration at the expense of the 3 million workers who earn up to a thousand euros gross per month, of the 2 million people in poverty, at the expense of the 345,000 children at risk of poverty, of the 400,000 elderly people who live on incomes of 551 euros.

How good would it be for the banks to leave untouched their 10.7 million euros in profits per day, while thousands and thousands every day do their best, and utmost, to support their greatest asset, their house, their roof, with unbearable loan payments and rents.

It's like this all over the country, just as it is here in Braga.

A city hitherto known for having cheap housing compared to other cities.

But today it's the steamroller you see everywhere, rooms at 650 euros, families living in annexes and making of garages the only possibility of housing.

How it would suit them to make collective bargaining expire once and for all, transform everything into precarious contracts and completely deregulate working times.

But there is the resistance, there is the struggle, there is the unity of the workers, there are their achievements.

It is the struggle that is imposing wage increases and the enshrinement of rights in companies, it is the struggle that imposed measures on the government, as was the case of pensions, wages, housing.

Limited, insufficient or mere propaganda measures, but which objectively unlocked the door of measures, and now it is necessary to open that door wide.

How it would suit those who make disease a business, who transfer 6 billion euros from the State Budget, which go straight from our pockets to their coffers, how it would suit them if the National Health Service, despite all attacks and difficulties, was not defended tooth and nail, by its professionals, by users and by democrats.

Witness the example here at Braga Hospital. It spent 13.7 million euros to carry out 19,200 surgeries in private facilities and hospitals, an option that still saved a lot compared to the alternative of surgery vouchers.

An immediate measure that does not dispense with what is required, the construction of the outpatient surgery block, tabled by the PCP and defeated by the PS, PSD, IL and Chega, but which neither we nor the professionals and users give up.

How it would suit them if we sat on the couch and watched the usurpation of the country's riches and gave up TAP as lost.

TAP, the largest national export company, which we do not accept be handed over to the interests of big capital.

The workers would lose, the country would lose.

Our vote against the commission of inquiry's report is due not so much to what is written, but to what is not there, the identification of the privatisation of TAP as what it is, a political and economic crime.

And speaking of transport, how it would help them if we gave up on the direct rail link between Braga and Guimarães and the multimodal tariff, here in the region.

How it would suit them if we let ourselves be carried away by the government's measures on nurseries or daycare centres.

Everything contrary to what it should be.

We don't need to deregulate nurseries to answer the unregulated, unstable and precarious lives we lead and our impossible working times.

We don't need children to go to their parents' work, what we need is for parents to spend fewer hours at work to spend more time with their children, this is the way to go.

What we need is to create more public nurseries and daycare centres that respond to the long waiting lists, such as the 900 requests on the waiting list in dozens of institutions in Guimarães.

How the tax benefits that every year they take from the pockets of each of us, suit them, at least a billion euros a year, how it suits them that the prices of essential goods and food are not being controlled.

How the war suits them.

For them, more destruction equals more profits, it doesn't matter how many die, what matters is how much falls into their coffers.

And how sad it is to watch the constant drums of war, the constant confrontation that can rise to irreversible levels.

How sad it is to see the towing of the Portuguese government in confrontation with the Constitution of the Republic itself.

How it would suit them if we remained silent or let ourselves be carried away by the winds or tides.

How it would suit them if we gave up the alternative policy at the service of the workers and the people.

How nice it would be, for them. It was, but it isn't.

Here we are, not to be nice to the economic groups.

We are here, indeed, to stand up to them and face them head-on.

Here we are, in full, at the service of the workers, populations, youth, pensioners, micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, at the service of each and every one who is the target of the policy that pushes us down every day.

These are the interests and the only interests we serve.

And in view of the current situation, in view of recent developments, the question that arises is to know which way to go for the workers and the people.

Maintain and support a policy contrary to their interests or take the construction of its alternative into their own hands?

Maintain and support a policy that moves at the whim of the wishes and interests of economic groups even if it is on top of everything and everyone, or pursue an option that responds to their own rights?

Maintain and support parties that, when the truth comes, always reveal at whose service they are, or give strength to their Party that is always by their side?

Maintain a policy that concentrates profits in the hands of a few or move forward resolutely to increase wages and pensions; ensure and achieve labour rights, permanent contracts, regulated working times; control prices and end speculation; protect housing, prevent evictions and seizures, build public housing; implement a fair tax policy that unburdens income on labour and taxes those who have the most; ensure public services, healthcare, education, social security, transport, postal service, nurseries, culture, sport and leisure; when it comes to defending sovereignty, peace and cooperation between peoples.

This is the challenge facing the workers, the people and the democrats.

Today it is clear that the solutions that each one of us needs, that the answers to the country's problems, are not found in the majority of the PS or in the PSD and its appendices.

Today, many have realised that, at the moment of truth, the PCP is there with the workers and the people. At the moment of truth, a dissonant vote here, an abstention there, decibels higher or lower, there we have PS, PSD, IL, Chega and CDS, together and closely united to reject the solutions that serve the workers, the people and the Country.

This is reality, the rest is propaganda.

The propaganda of the economy that grows everywhere but the workers and populations don't feel anything.

The talk of inflation going down, but prices don't go down, the cost of living increases in the same proportion as profits grow.

The large-scale propaganda campaign where everything is a subject except life and concrete problems, where everything is important except the reality of life, where large or small cases gain centrality and the lives of those who work, the difficulties of those who have worked a lifetime, pass by.

The demagogic and dangerous campaign to attack parties and democracy, which seeks to create the idea of widespread chaos.

On our part, we talk about what matters, we talk about what is necessary and urgent, we talk about solutions for life, we talk about a Country of the present and the future, and that there are people capable of taking it forward.

While others want the accessory, we want solutions to the problems.

While others try to deceive, we want a general increase in wages and pensions.

While others want distractions, we want banks to pay interest rate increases with their profits, to set the maximum spread at 0.25%, to move towards the moratorium, as created at the time of Covid- 19, for a maximum of two years.

While others want us to talk about everything but not what matters, we want the prices of essential goods to be fixed and reduced.

While others claim to want to change this and that so that everything remains the same and at the service of economic groups, we want to put an end to injustice.

While some mouth about taxes, we proposed and they rejected a reduction in taxes for those who work and have worked a lifetime, a reduction in VAT on electricity, gas and telecommunications, but at the same time, an increase in taxes for economic groups and their profits.

We have all realised that when the PCP and the CDU advance and strengthen everybody’s life also advances.

If that is so, then let's give more strength to the alternative, let's give more strength to the PCP and the CDU and with confidence, struggle and determination, build the policy that serves us.

If it is true that it is the vast majority that is the target of right-wing policies, that is the target of injustices, that is the greatest victim of inequality, it is also true that when this huge majority, when the workers and the people realise the strength that they have, when they realise the strength of their struggle, the strength of their unity, the strength of their strength, then it is more than certain that things will have to change and that is the great potential of the current moment.

Despite the news we keep hearing, despite the cases and many that we are aware of, despite all of this,

This is not the Country, there are trustworthy people, there are people capable of building the path that interests the workers and the people.

It is this ongoing political and social struggle that will respond to the problems we face.

It takes a lot of work, a lot of intervention, a lot of insistence, a lot of explaining, a lot of patience. But also, a lot of confidence, a lot of joy. The joy we feel in initiatives like this.

But not only that. The genuine and contagious joy we feel in our day-to-day struggle for a cause that is beautiful, fair and invincible.

That's why we don't lack courage for all the tasks ahead of us. Let's go for them!

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  • Economia e Aparelho Produtivo
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