Speech by Paulo Raimundo, General Secretary of the PCP, Rally «Turn injustices into strength to fight - better wages and pensions, healthcare and housing»

«Let us mobilise ourselves and others against injustices, and turn them into strength to fight»

«Let us mobilise ourselves and others against injustices, and turn them into strength to fight»

Here we are a week after our National Conference.

An initiative of remarkable success by our party collective, where we discussed, decided on lines of work, showed unity, cohesion and a steadfast determination to respond to the increased and serious problems that workers and our people are facing today.

A moment of great importance and affirmation of the principles and nature of our Party.

The Conference thus represented a high point in the life of the Party, also for what was associated with it, such as the meeting of the Central Committee, which elected a new General Secretary of the Party. A responsibility of the Central Committee in line with the principles of our functioning, in a process that also reveals great cohesion and unity.

But if it is true that the Conference was a success, it is no less true that this success, to a large extent, now needs to be implemented.

It is now necessary, in every Party organisation, in every cell, in every organism, to outline, starting from concrete realities, the necessary lines of work to implement the decisions taken.

These are demanding tasks, those that the Conference decided, a challenge and the Party is up to the task, as it has proven so many times.

This great party collective of ours, of people of great will and determination, ready to help and be helped, it is with this strength that we go forward.

It is like this all over the country, it is also like this in the district of Porto and here in Matosinhos.

Take the political initiative on issues that are most faced by the workers, our people, their living and working conditions and the development of the country; develop political action and strengthen mass organisations, popular struggle, initiative and participation; broaden and expand the work in unity with democrats and patriots from different sectors; strengthen the Party; these are the tasks that immediately lie ahead of us.

Lines of work whose aim is to give more strength to the Party to better serve the workers and our people, but that also have the objective of increasing its participation and mobilisation to help solve their problems and aspirations and at the same time open paths in order to affirm and build the Patriotic and Left-wing alternative that is so necessary for the solution of national problems.

An alternative that has to confront right-wing policies. A confrontation and a political and ideological clash that translates into concrete options and measures in day-to-day life.

A confrontation that is very clear in the current context of the political and social situation.

While millions are faced with hardships in their lives, while the social situation deteriorates promoted by speculation and unbridled exploitation, a few, those really responsible for the situation – the economic groups – amass wealth in a way that has not been seen for years.

An increasingly longer month for an increasingly shorter salary, 75% of workers earning less than €1,000, 2 million of whom earn less than €800. Increasing profits for economic groups, 4 billion euros which, if distributed, would increase the disposable income of the 2 million poor by around 2 thousand euros a year, close to 200 euros a month for each one.

This is the degree of injustice we have reached – and there are those who want to continue and deepen it.

In this confrontation between projects and political options, one of the ever-present issues we have, and which is decisive now, are the wages.

What is needed and increasingly pressing is a general and significant increase in wages, to restore and guarantee an increase in purchasing power, and the setting of 850 euros for the National Minimum Wage on this coming January 1, as well as the valorisation of careers and professions.

What is the option of the PS Government and of all those who support it in defending the interests of large economic groups, besides fine speeches? Proposals for wage increases that mean a real loss of purchasing power. It does so directly in terms of Public Administration and siding with the major employers' confederations, when it goes as far as to sign an Agreement, which makes those who signed it responsible, which in practice sets maximum increases in wages and once again opens up wide avenues of financial transfer for big capital.

Options that go further, with a downright cut in pensions; the transfer of 3 billion euros to companies because of the energy crisis, of which 1500 million euros from the State Budget, in a manoeuvre that leaves untouched the unprecedented and speculative profit margins of large companies and energy multinationals.

Instead of going to the source of speculation, they go to the public purse and leave the country's problems unresolved!

Incidentally, the option of leaving speculation untouched is a watermark in these times, witness the galloping rise in food prices, with inflation reaching an average of 18%, and the refusal to fixing prices, in particular food products, at a time when Sonae's profits soared by 32.6% and Jerónimo Martins' profits rose to 419 million euros.

But we can also talk about Galp, a company well-known here in Matosinhos, which closed down here and threw hundreds of workers out of work, which, between January and September of this year, had profits amounting to 608 million euros.

How we got here, we know well. Changes in fuel prices respond to the rule of three steps forward and one step back, which is the same as saying that every time the price goes down once, the price goes up three times.

And what about the banks, 2 billion in profits in the first nine months of this year, with the use of commissions of all kinds, justified, they said, by the low interest rates.

Services that began to be charged, account maintenance, commissions for this and that, cards here and there. Interest rates have started to rise, thousands of people are distraught with bank credit and these commissions remain as they were.

In view of this situation, which is a life crisis for many and an opportunity for few, what does the PS government do?

It assumes as its own in the Assembly of the Republic the pains of PSD, Chega and Iniciativa Liberal, which, in an increasingly obvious way, are also theirs, and follows to the letter the wills and interests of big capital and not of the Country, as can be seen in its State Budget proposal for 2023.

A proposal that will boost the impoverishment of the majority of the population. That will continue the degradation of the NHS and public services. That will deepen the Government's lack of responsibility for the Public School. A Budget proposal without essential answers to the problems of housing, the rights of children and parents, the cultural sector, the difficulties of thousands of micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, farmers and fishermen.

A Budget proposal that portrays the option of reducing the debt and the deficit at the expense of the reduction of wages and pensions, the devaluation of services and public investment, and the worsening of fiscal injustices.

This is the conclusion we reached with regard to the State Budget proposal, which begins its discussion in the specifics next Monday.

On our part, we are and will continue to be committed and to intervene, also in relation to the State Budget.

We tabled proposals that respond to the problems of the workers, the population, small and medium-sized farmers and entrepreneurs, wide strata of society, proposals and measures that confront the benefits of economic groups.

We defend and propose the restoration and improvement of the purchasing power of Public Administration workers and pensioners, namely by means of increases in pensions without cuts and with at least 50 euros.

Let us see how others position themselves regarding these proposals.

On our part, we defend and propose, once again, the fixing of prices for essential goods and services, which include food, fuel, electricity and gas, with price controls for the food basket, the establishment of 6 % VAT for electricity and gas and the implementation of a regulated tariff for electricity and gas, among other measures.

Let us see how others position themselves regarding these proposals.

We defend and propose measures to reinforce public services, in particular and urgently the National Health Service, with a regime of full dedication, salary increase and counting of the length of service for the purposes of progression, hiring of family doctors and nurses, measures that should be extended to all public services.

Let us see how others position themselves regarding these proposals.

On our part, we defend and propose strengthening the right to housing, whether in terms of access or protection, so that no one is left homeless.

We propose a maximum spread of 0.25% for housing loans to be practiced by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the maximum updating of rents to 0.43%, we propose to match the rise in Euribor rates with a reduction in fees, bank commissions and other costs charged by banks .

Let us see how others position themselves regarding these proposals.

Proposals and measures, more than 400, that we tabled. These are goals of struggle, we need to take them further, to those who benefit from them.

Urgent and necessary proposals in a context in which the economic and social situation is becoming increasingly worrying and where every effort is being made to divert attention from the concrete problems and difficulties faced by workers, small and medium-sized farmers and entrepreneurs, youth and broad strata and sectors.

The media focus is centred on stirring successive cases. For us it is clear, investigate what there is to investigate, find out what there is to find out, hold responsible whoever is responsible and that's it. There are those who want to agitate these cases because they see in it, more than reprehensible practices, a way to affect the democratic regime and the Constitution itself.

Do not count on the PCP for this purpose.

The Constitution of the Republic, a document of great political significance which, despite being amended seven times and hard hit, remains deeply topical and is the cornerstone of rights and options that make it possible to build a better life.

The problem with the Constitution is not its content, the problem lies in its not being fully implemented in everyday life, it is not a text that is out of step with reality, it is the real life that was constantly removed from the constitutional text to the detriment of most of the population.

The great challenge faced by democrats is the demand for its compliance and the materialisation of the rights it enshrines and not open new amendments, which are precipitated without urgent need.

We know the history of the seven previous amendments, we know how they started and we know how they ended, with distortions and mutilations.

The PS was wrong to open the doors to this process, the PS was wrong to intervene and give space and opportunity for the very clear reactionary and anti-democratic objectives and purposes of the PSD, Chega and IL projects, where they have a field to thrive. The PS is wrong when it reaches out to the PSD to concert changes with it that weaken and attack fundamental rights.

On our part, we will intervene with our own initiative, in order to defend the values of April and strengthen the project for the future that the Constitution of the Republic holds, giving a firm combat to anti-democratic conceptions that seek to impose setbacks and liquidation of rights in terms of the Constitution.

Countless are the challenges facing us.

Let us move forward with strength, determination and confidence to put the conclusions of our National Conference into practice. To explain, open paths, give hope and confidence to our people and mobilise them, draw strength from injustices to fight, to fight for a better life, the life to which we are entitled.

Let us mobilise to win others and with them, with their involvement and participation, build a patriotic and left-wing policy, the alternative at the service of the workers, the people and the country.

The alternative that responds to the rights and aspirations of the majority of our people and is at their service.

An alternative that requires mobilisation, commitment, creativity, participation and construction also with others, to increase wages, pensions; because there is no future with poor wages and job precariousness; for the rights of children and parents, because joy and learning are not possible without rights, and it is dramatic that parents have to choose between putting food on the table or having time for play and learning with their own children; for the defence and claim for more and better public services, because what is public belongs to everyone and what is private belongs to only a few; for peace, because the people demand it and are entitled to it; for national production and public control of sectors and strategic companies, because a country that is increasingly dependent is a country that is increasingly doomed; for a tax policy that relieves workers and small and medium-sized companies and strongly taxes the income of big capital, profits and financial speculation, because the country's problem is not taxes, the problem is who and how they pay; for the urgent restoration of economic, budgetary and monetary sovereignty, because a country that is tied will never be a truly free country.

Let us mobilise ourselves and others to fight against the rising cost of living, against injustices, and turn them into strength to fight. For a project that is ours and belongs to all those who aspire to a better life.

A better life that is possible to build, step by step, in each company, in each place, in each concrete reality. A reality that is also one of struggle and which had an important, great and significant expression yesterday, with the Public Administration strike, as in so many and each one of the companies, in so many and each one of the areas, with the nurses, with the users, with the youth, with the pensioners, with the farmers and many, many others, whom we salute from here, a fight that will take place on this coming 25th., in front of the Assembly of the Republic, we are sure, a strong, decided and clear expression, on the day when the State Budget will be voted.

There are forces, there is will, there is confidence and potential.

With the workers, with the people, with wide strata and sectors, we are surely going to continue to tread this path.

A path of struggle, yes, but above all a path of hope, construction and a call to the participation of all who aspire to a better life.

Moving forward is possible.

Let us get to work comrades.

With confidence.


  • Administração Pública
  • Assuntos e Sectores Sociais
  • Economia e Aparelho Produtivo
  • Educação e Ciência
  • Regime Democrático e Assuntos Constitucionais
  • Saúde
  • Segurança das Populações
  • Trabalhadores
  • Central