Speech by Paulo Raimundo, General Secretary of the PCP, Commemorative lunch of the 25th. of April «April is more future»

25th. of April: we celebrate this liberating act that put an end to the long fascist night of 48 years of deprivation, illiteracy, prisons, torture, death, colonialism, war

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Here we are celebrating the Revolution, a few days away from the 49th. anniversary of this great event of our history.

We celebrate this liberating act that put an end to the long fascist night of 48 years of deprivation illiteracy, prisons, torture, death, colonialism, war.

A fascist regime, aligned with fascism at the international level, a regime to which imperialism always gave a helping hand, and it was through this hand that Portugal became a founding member of NATO.

48 years of heightening of inequalities, concentration and accumulation of wealth, particularly in the hands of 7 large economic groups.

A terrorist dictatorship of monopolies and large latifundia, associated with foreign imperialism.

The 25th. of April Revolution put a stop to all this.

Today, just like yesterday, it is essential to know and make known what fascism was, at a time when there are many who try to erase, adulterate or sweeten it, rewriting History brazenly and without any shame.

April was and is a Revolution.

It was not just any evolution or transition, as some would have you believe.

April was a military uprising followed by a popular uprising, in a process that revolutionised social and economic structures.

A collective process, where the working class, the workers, the popular masses and the progressive military, united in the People-Armed Forces Movement alliance, took into their hands the implementation of profound economic, social, political and cultural changes.

The 25th. of April enshrined freedoms, concrete fundamental rights in the life of the people.

Rights of opinion, demonstration and creation of political parties, broad social and labour rights, free trade union organisation and the right to strike.

The increase in wages and the achievement of the National Minimum Wage, increase and extension of retirement and disability pensions, the prohibition of unfair dismissals, the extension of vacation time and its allowance.

April ensured the rupture and changed the economic and social structure.

April meant nationalisations and the end of the power of the monopolies, April brought about the Agrarian Reform, and allowed hundreds of thousands of hectares of uncultivated land to be put into production.

April is access to healthcare and the creation of the general and free National Health Service, expansion and improvement of Social Security, the right to education and Democratic Local Government.

Abril enshrined in law equality between men and women, but also the improvement of their living and working conditions, in the field of wages, working time, maternity leave.

It was with the Revolution that thousands of jobs were created, that cultural activities were developed, that decreased emigration.

It was the April Revolution that ended the colonial war, and which recognised the right to self-determination and independence of the peoples of the former colonies.

The 25th of April was for everyone, but is not of everyone.

The 25th of April is certainly not of those who never wanted it, it is not of those who attacked and attack it, of those who were engaged and engage so that April does not happen. April is not of those who clean the image of fascism.

The 25th of April belongs to the people, of this people, of the progressive military, of the democrats who launched forward all advances and achievements, with their hands, in the streets and in companies.

There was no change, advance and progress, from the simplest to the deepest, that was not helped by this powerful and invincible initiative of the popular masses.

The 25th. of April belongs to its builders and such is its strength and the value of its project, the depth of its achievements, that decades of counter-revolution and right-wing policies have not yet been able to, nor will be able to destroy.

April is more future, April is the answer to the problems we face, that April that was interrupted and unfinished by the counter-revolutionary process and its inherent right-wing policy carried out by successive governments, from PS to PSD, with or without CDS. A process that is incompatible with the April project.

A policy that attacks and mutilates the Constitution, in a process of endless years and that is now happening again, with the PS lending a hand to reactionary projects, opening the door to new amendment projects, with old ideas. The Constitution does not need amendment, what it does need is implementation and implementation in everyday life, that is fulfilling April.

This right-wing policy that rebuilds old privileges of monopoly capital, in an operation at the expense of colossal public resources, of increased exploitation of workers and our people.

A path that attacks everything that is public and privatises everything possible.

But what April enshrined was a break with this reality and this is what remains to be accomplished.

This right-wing policy that continues to focus on promoting war and jeopardising peace, a path at the service of the strategies, wishes and plans of the USA, NATO and EU.

But April brought precisely the end of war, April brought Peace and enshrined that it is towards peace that the country must always walk.

This right-wing policy that is put at the service of economic groups, their many billions of profits, their 20 million euros of profit per day in 2022, while at the same time the population sees the end of the month increasingly distant , buys less and less food but pays more and more, adds increasing difficulties in meeting housing costs.

This is not April. April is the fair distribution of wealth.

The right-wing policy that disinvests and chokes public services. A situation supported only by the valiant dedication to the public cause of its professionals, in the National Health Service, in Public Schools, in Social Security and in many other services.

But April is the opposite of this disinvestment.

Just as it is contrary to the policy of low wages with 70% of workers, around 3 million, earning less than 1000 euros gross, precariousness and low pensions.

April is improvement of living conditions, April is living with dignity.

The policies of the right, the policies of alternation, of musical chairs, the policies of pretending to show differences, the policies of deceiving what is essentially the same. In what is fundamental, in what is strategic at the service of big capital, PS, PSD, CDS, Chega and IL share the same visions, differing, if anything, in speed.

A strongly and rightly contested policy, in a struggle of great scale and scope.

A struggle that forced the government to take measures.

Therein lies the strength of the struggle.

What until recently was stated as an impossibility, finally came to be shown as a reality.

Measures now announced, very insufficient, far short of needs.

This is the case of pensions, we remember that the government said a few months ago that increases would be the end of Social Security, but now here we have the increases. Late, insufficient, but it was the struggle that forced them to become reality. It will be the struggle that will force the government to respond with what is necessary, mid-year and immediate increase in pensions by 9.1%, with a minimum of 60 euros retroactively to January.

This is the case of wages, we remember that the government claimed that wage increases would contribute to the inflationary spiral, but now it is forced to recognise, by force of reality and struggle, this need.

Announcing a 1% raise which is insufficient, and one should ask if the government thinks this is enough, if this somehow covers the increase in the cost of living.

What is needed are real increases for all wages. This when we know that CEOs already earn 36 times more than workers, with the owner of Jerónimo Martins earning 186 times the average gross salary of workers in that company.

This is also the case with housing, with measures that, besides the propaganda and intentions, are nothing more than protections of profits and speculation. More Housing quickly became More Transfers, more tax benefits, more transfers of public moneys to sustain and feed the banks and real estate funds. The solution to the problem of access to housing does not involve giving more support to those responsible for the situation we have reached. The solution, however, is to make those responsible pay, make banks and real estate funds pay and make the State fulfil the role that only the State can fulfil. There are more and more people contemplating and demanding this path.

And what can one say about the statements made by the Prime Minister a few months ago, stating that the war was to be blamed for the increases in food prices, that there was nothing he could do, that was what it was.

Now there we have once again the struggle to show the way, to force the government to intervene.

And it is necessary to boost the fight, because the measures it has taken solve nothing or face the price of food, which continues to increase, on average, around 20%.

Prices that will continue to rise, and which have demonstrably increased since the zero% VAT measure was announced.

As the Party proposes, this measure without intervention in prices with their control and cut, is worth little or nothing, as is being demonstrated. Without attacking speculation, zero% VAT is a zero in results for those who work.

Prices continue to rise and people find their lives increasingly difficult.

A policy that does not respond to the problems we are facing is a policy contrary to the April project.

So let April be fulfilled, because fulfilling April is:

- deepening relations of equality, friendship and solidarity with all peoples, contributing to solutions of peace and not those of war;

- guaranteeing sovereignty and public control of strategic sectors that meet the needs of the population and contribute to the country's true development;

- fulfilling rights, guaranteeing housing, health care, education, mobility, access to essential goods;

- valuing professionals from the National Health Service, Public Schools and all sectors and services which contribute in an absolutely decisive and irreplaceable way to the public cause;

- is, right away, guaranteeing an increase in all wages and pensions, real increases that are felt in people's purchasing power, and not increases that are so insufficient that they do not respond to the increase in the cost of living that we are witnessing.

Fulfilling April means implementing a policy that serves national interests and places workers and the people at the centre of its action.

This policy, patriotic and left-wing, this policy of and with Abril, is what is needed, is what is in the interest of the workers, the people and broad and diverse strata and sectors.

The country has potential, it is necessary to take advantage of it and put its resources at the service of the population.

Not waiving the capabilities and potential of a single strategic sector.

Not waiving a single public service.

It is no coincidence that each and every one of these sectors and services arouses the greed of economic groups.

There we have TAP proving, comrades, that after all, after everything fine combed, the problems and messes that have accumulated are truly the outcome of private management.

Reality is proving, once again, that the question is not whether the State is a bad manager by nature, the real question is the nature of the interests driving those who lead the State and the destinies of the country.

It should be noted that it is common to see public companies being managed as private – the aim is clear, to facilitate their privatisation.

What is impossible is to see private companies being managed as public, taking into account public interest, public service, enshrined law.

We keep hearing this amazing argument that at least taxpayers do not pay for poor private management.

Do not pay? So, who produces the wealth that fills the pockets of managers and shareholders and does not reach the workers? Who pays for runaway prices? Who supports these increases? Who maintains workers without a contract or indefinitely with temporary contracts, even though they fulfil permanent functions?

We all pay and it is not little. And the biggest cost is what the State gives up, tools, means, capacities to intervene and be able to respond to the needs that the country and the population face.

And since we are talking of sovereignty, a few words about the Stability Program, which causes so much instability to the country's destiny.

A programme submitted to the impositions of the European Union and the full array decreed by Brussels: accelerated reduction of the debt and the deficit, compression of wages, pensions, public investment, public services.

With this prescription imposed and accepted, the government sacrifices the country to the interests of economic groups.

The Country of April is a country that sovereignly decides its path, which seeks solutions to its problems.

On our part, you can count on the firm commitment to carry this plan forward.

And here we are ready to assume our responsibilities, when the people so decide.

Let us make the popular celebrations of the 25th. of April great moments of affirmation also in the streets, of its values, its project and, above all, its topicality.

Celebrations that the right never tires of attacking and trying to condition. This year is no exception. Because it only makes what was already evident even clearer: that they mishandle democracy, mishandle a sovereign country with its own voice, mishandle those who uphold the cause of peace, and yes, mishandle the 25th. of April. This is the core issue.

The workers, the people, the democrats will celebrate April. We are really going to fill Avenida da Liberdade, we are going to fill avenues and squares throughout the country, we are going to show that the values and the April project are alive, very much alive, and will provide all the answers that are necessary for the present and the future of the country. our country.

And because April was and is what it is, it is because there were many May Days of struggle, let's make the next May Day a great day of struggle, a great demonstration of the strength of the workers, of their struggle, a great moment of demand to increase wages, rights, a moment of combat against exploitation and the increase in the cost of living.

Here we are to resist the counter-revolutionary process and fight for a break with right-wing policies and for a patriotic and left-wing alternative, for an Advanced Democracy with April Values in the future of Portugal, for socialism.

We are firmly convinced that the noble and advanced project of April and its values and achievements are affirmed as an objective necessity in the materialisation of a fraternal and progressive Portugal!