Speech by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary of the PCP, Meeting with new members

«Joining the PCP is an essential choice for those who want to fight consequently for a fairer society and world»

«Joining the PCP is an essential choice for those who want to fight consequently for a fairer society and world»

I would like to welcome and thank you for your participation in this meeting with new members of the Portuguese Communist Party.

Your choice to join the Portuguese Communist Party marks the difference and the necessary path at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st. century.

Joining the PCP is an essential choice for all those affected by politics at the service of big capital and want to fight consequently for a fairer society and world.

In this time marked by the epidemic and its use to heighten exploitation, injustices, inequalities: each one of us must face the question of what to do to defend rights and advance on the path of a better life.

When scientific and technological development reaches a remarkably advanced level, the appropriation of these advances at the service of capital, not only prevents its use to respond to human needs but is used to weaken rights and worsen exploitation.

When in terms of medicine and research in the field of health makes efficacious vaccines available, their capitalist appropriation prevents a large part of humanity from benefiting from them.

When the wealth produced by the workers is increasingly more concentrated in a small core of multinational companies, with great inequality and injustice.

When a concept of cooperation and peace between peoples is needed, respecting their sovereign right, imperialism in its insatiable thirst for profit promotes aggression, war and the depredation of natural resources.

When in the situation of our Country continues the impact of the powerful effects of the April Revolution and its achievements, but we feel the effect of decades of counter-revolutionary process, of right-wing policies, restoring the power of the economic and financial groups and putting national sovereignty at stake.

When, with the workers' struggle and the action of the PCP, it was possible to defend, restore and conquer rights, but the existing possibilities for advancing and responding to national problems are set aside by the PS government's policy and its options at the service of big capital and of submission to the impositions of the European Union, at the same time that big capital bets on the reactionary projects of the PSD, CDS and their surrogates Chega and Iniciativa Liberal.

When the epidemic and its effects have been harnessed by big business to worsen exploitation and use public resources to guarantee profits and distribute dividends, promote dismissals, unemployment, poverty and inequality, jeopardise rights and working conditions and limit political and trade union rights.

The answer has many dimensions, but the fundamental one is obvious: to give more strength to the PCP, to make the choice of being a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.
This is the most consequent and most effective way of intervening, contributing to defend the interests of the workers, youth, and people, to ensure a break with the right-wing policy. This is the indispensable option to pave the way for a better future, for a patriotic and left-wing policy, for the advanced democracy, with the horizon of socialism, a society free from exploitation.

We have a lot of work ahead, a lot of combats to wage, we must continue to act on several fronts, in companies, in the workplaces and at the different levels in the institutions to ensure answers to problems that require immediate solutions in the fields of health, culture and public services, where the needs are still many, in the social and labour field, namely in the defence and valorisation of wages and rights.

We have an important electoral battle for Local Government that is under way. Important for what it represents at the local level for solving the problems of the population, but also for what it can contribute to give strength to the fight that we are waging at the national level, in defence of the improvement of the people's living conditions and for the solution of the great problems of the Country.

Yes, we have many battles to fight and we have a central battle, which is the fight for the materialisation of an alternative policy for the Country and for a political alternative and a government that guarantees its implementation.

A central battle to implement a policy with solutions to the Country's fundamental problems, starting with this core problem, which now assumes redoubled importance, together with the valorisation of work and workers and public services, which is to ensure the conditions to affirm the sovereign development of the country and with it the goal of full employment that the European Union and the PS government abandoned.

Portugal cannot continue to follow the disastrous path of economic dependence to which the policies of submission to the European Union and large transnational capital and its projects of hegemonic domination of the European space are condemning it.

This is the time to break with policies that have weakened Portugal and made it an increasingly dependent country.

It is necessary to relaunch the national productive sectors, including the reindustrialisation of the Country, modernising and diversifying, taking advantage and using its own resources, to produce here and not just buy from abroad, but what is happening is that the opportunities to relaunch these sectors are conditioned by the criteria and constraints of the impositions of the European Union and its rules tailored to the multinationals.

Take, for example, the issue of buying trains. Metro de Lisboa will buy 14 triple units, in which almost 100 million euros will be invested. This public investment will have an important counterpart: we will have more trains in service, we will be able to expand the network and the offer. But these trains will be purchased from a private Austrian company and will be manufactured in Spain.

We spend 100 million euros and are left with 14 trains. We could just say: not as bad as the case of Novo Banco, where they skimmed and melted billions in exchange for nothing. But we add another criticism: if these trains were built in Portugal, we would also be creating jobs, we would be guaranteeing orders for a group of national companies. We would be producing instead of importing.

The advantages for the country would be much greater.

The same is true in shipbuilding. We have closed shipyards, others are facing difficulties, others with the possibility of increasing production. But the 10 ships for Transtejo will be built in Spain. And in the Recovery and Resilience Programme, for the research vessel that is to be purchased, the government is concerned with determining the type of fuel (it will cost 10 million more to use a so-called green ammonia engine), but it does nothing to ensure that the construction takes place in Portugal. And that is a big difference!

For the PCP, it is essential that the funds are not simply spent on purchases of goods or services, but rather are applied in an integrated policy aimed at industrial development, which contributes to the reconstruction of the national productive apparatus and boosts the economy as a whole, which increases wealth creation in Portugal, which reduces our imports and external dependence.

Yes, we do not need bazookas of EU funds to go shopping, we need investment to produce and create jobs!

We need to create wealth and distribute it better, assuming the general increase in wages as a national emergency, the valorisation of careers and professions, the increase in the National Minimum Wage to 850 euros and a firm and determined fight against precarious work.

We need to overcome the serious problems facing public services with a social policy aimed at the equality, dignity and well-being of the Portuguese, capable of guaranteeing their rights to healthcare, education, social security, housing, culture and sport, to transport.

At a time when the centenary of the PCP is signalled, its 100 years of struggle, the PCP marks the difference. There are no distortions, slanders or silences that can erase this reality.

It is a Party with a unique history. The Party of anti-fascist resistance, freedom and democracy, the Party of the April Revolution and its achievements. The Party always present in times of resistance, transformation and advancement.

It is the Party of the working class and of all workers, the Party of youth. The Party that the workers, the youth, the women, the people can always count on.

It is a coherent Party. The Party of truth, which does not give in to pressure and blackmail, learns from life and remains determined in asserting its communist identity.

It is a Party with important ethical and moral values. The Party whose militants have given and give unparalleled evidence of self-denial, refusing and fighting favours and benefits, setting an example of dedication to the service of the workers, the people, the Country, the cause of the liberation of the workers and peoples.

It is the Party that warned and drew attention, following its analyses, to the consequences of right-wing policies, of privatisations and the reconstruction of monopoly capitalism and its domination over national life.

The Party that warned of the consequences of integration and course of the EEC/EU, of what would mean joining the Euro and its whole track of economic and social devastation, jeopardising national sovereignty.

It is the Party that has contributed and contributes to building a decent and better life. The Party whose militants in Local Government and other institutions, in the popular movement and at the various levels have acted and are acting to solve the problems of the workers and populations, to materialise their aspirations.

It is the Party that promotes participation and struggle. The Party that alerts, clarifies, mobilises and unites, showing the immense strength of the struggle to resist social and civilisational attacks and setbacks and to transform society.

It is the Party that organises, that gives the opportunity to add individual opinion and reflection, to the collective discussion and decision and turn it into a powerful lever of intervention and transformation.

It is the Party that proposes solutions to the problems we face, that promotes a break with the right-wing policy and the demand for a patriotic and left-wing policy, for a more developed, fairer and sovereign Portugal.

It is the Party of internationalist solidarity, against imperialist aggression, of the struggle for peace and cooperation between peoples.

It is the Party bearer of a project for the future. The Party bearer of solutions and the alternative project, against capitalism, for an advanced democracy, socialism and communism.

The PCP, a Party that intervenes with unwavering confidence based on its history, its project and its strength, is the Party that is worth belonging to.

The PCP always assumes its commitment to the workers and the people. Come what may, they can always count on the PCP.

This is the meaning of joining the PCP, of militancy in the PCP, of participation in a large party collective, to give more strength and efficacy to the defence of the interests of the workers and the people. Participation in a Party with a unique history and an irreplaceable role in national life. Participation in a great project of social transformation and human emancipation.