Speech by Paulo Raimundo, General Secretary of the PCP, National Meeting of the PCP on the elections and the Party's action

Here there is strength, there is will and determination to build a great election result for the CDU

Allow me to start with a greeting to all of you, to our allies from the Intervenção Democrática Association, from the Ecologist Party “The Greens” and to the many, many democrats without party affiliation who constitute and build the CDU Unitary Democratic Coalition.

We are about to end this important National Meeting.

Here there is strength, here there is will, here there is determination to build a great election result for the CDU in the coming election battles that we will fight for the Assembly of the Republic, for the European Parliament and also for the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Azores.

A result that responds to the demands of the current situation, in a country that faces intolerable inequalities and brutal injustice in the distribution of the wealth created.

Realities inseparable from decades of right-wing policies at the hands of PS, PSD and CDS, joined by Chega and IL.

A country in which low wages constitute a structural problem that is inseparable from the dominance and power of economic groups and multinationals.

Those who achieve colossal profits while the vast majority of the population faces difficulties.

A country faced with high levels of exploitation, devaluation of the productive apparatus, deterioration of public services, privatisations, lack of investment and loss of important instruments of sovereignty and increasingly subject to relationships of dependence and subordination, factors that limit the response to problems and condition its development.

Problems that cannot be answered with the policies that brought us here, right-wing policies.

Problems that the PS Government and its correct accounts have refused and refuse to respond to, with the consequences that are known on the living conditions of the workers and people.

The March 10 elections are an opportunity to open the necessary path, the alternative patriotic and left-wing policy that gives Portugal a prospect of the future, of progress, development and social justice.

The PCP does not embark on the manoeuvres of minimum programmes, in which they choose half a dozen problems to solve while turning a blind eye to everything else that makes life hell for the people and jeopardises the future of the country.

We will present on January 25 an Electoral Programme with a global set of responses, and we are certain that in this Electoral Programme workers, pensioners, young people, women, MSMEs and many other sectors and strata will find the solutions that correspond to their needs, to their wishes and aspirations but also the immediate responses to pressing problems that can be faced with the strengthening of the CDU.

The strengthening of the CDU that, as it emerged here in such a vivid and expressive way, we are building through contact, talk and clarification.

This is the path, this is the line of work that needs to continue to be organised, intensified and taken even further.

In companies and workplaces, on the streets, in neighbourhoods and villages, house to house, in cafes, schools, markets and fairs and in all spaces, contact, talk, clarify, win the vote for the CDU.

Let's, with the strength we have, with the strength that only depends on us, build a movement of support and mobilisation for the new path that is necessary.

With confidence, courage, determination and joy, may each and every one of us be a campaigner for contact and talk.

We are carrying out a great general action of clarification.

But we have to do even more, each one of us is and must be an activist for clarification, an activist of reason and hope, an action that is worth more with the conversations we are having and will have than with the number of documents we will distribute.

Here we are and we will listen, here we are and we will propose and counter-propose, here we are and we will build solutions and an election result for the CDU that contributes decisively to the valorisation of work and workers and putting the country back on the track of April, of this April which should never have been left.

This April that some want far away but that is there, very present in everything that involves progress and the future, this April that is carried out every day in every act of affirmation of rights, that encourages those who do not conform to inequalities and injustices, which mobilises and inspires, even those who did not experience the Revolution, fighting to see the paths of social progress resumed.

The April of freedom and democracy, which marks the lives of a people who know that it is in their hands and in their struggle that lies the strength to build a better life.

This April of progress and achievements which has in the CDU the most decisive factor of full achievement.

This April that today, with the strength of the people, must be resumed and projected into the future.

And it is also this April, its achievements, values and project that marks, distinguishes and compares options that will be decided on March 10.

This contest between those who like the CDU have values and achievements as a reference to project them towards a better life and those who more or less openly deny, diminish and aim to destroy what is most advanced and promising that Abril holds.

This April, which between capital and labour, made the option for labour.

This April of collective bargaining, of more favourable treatment for workers, of valorising careers and professions, of respect for those who create wealth, of those who make the country work, this April without precariousness and with quality of life.

This April of dignity, of personal fulfilment and of reconciling professional activity with family life, this April of rights and wages.

This April, which, with the strength of the people, must be resumed to face injustice and inequality and impose another redistribution of wealth and once and for all counter the hardships in which millions of people live while the main economic groups pocket 25 million euros in profits per day.

There is a pressing need for a general and significant increase in all wages.

Three million workers earning a gross wage of up to a thousand euros per month, 850 thousand workers earning a gross wage of 820 euros per month, this is the reality of the country.

It is now urgent to increase wages by 15%, with a minimum of 150 euros, setting the objective of converging the average wage in Portugal with the average wage in the Eurozone within four years.

To those who this week talked about a thousand euros in National Minimum Wage for 2028, we say: the urgency is now and not in 2028.

And when April celebrates 50 years and next May celebrates 50 years since the creation of the National Minimum Wage, the best way to honour and fulfil April is to ensure that in May no worker in Portugal earns less than a thousand euros.

The challenge of a policy that responds to the needs of the country and not of capital, not achieving in four years' time what was already paid last year right next door in Spain.

Breaking once and for all with the policy of low wages, putting an end to make-believe and assuming a general increase in wages, the valorisation of careers and professions, which is a fair demand of hundreds of thousands of workers, this is the path.

This April that today, with the strength of the people, needs to be resumed, enshrining housing as a right and not a commodity.

And to implement Article 65 of the Constitution, it is necessary once and for all to regulate one of the most liberalised sectors of the economy and which is filling the main banks with 12 million euros in profits per day and the pockets of real estate funds.

Develop the public housing stock, stop the increase in rents, put banking profits to support the increase in interest rates, comply with the Constitution, comply with the right to housing and solve the drama of thousands and thousands of people.

This April, which today, with the strength of the people, needs to be resumed, April that gave birth to free, quality public schools, which put an end to illiteracy and raised the level of knowledge and training of the children of the Revolution.

A school, an instrument of democracy and equality that needs to be strengthened, valorising its professionals, increasing the participation of all stakeholders, namely students, and meeting the demands of education professionals, namely by counting the service time of all teachers, without more delays.

Too much time has already been wasted, the lives of teachers and students have been hurt too much, a problem that should and could have been solved and should have been solved a long time ago.

This April, which today, with the strength of the people, needs to be resumed to defend and promote its great achievement, the National Health Service.

An achievement built by its professionals, by people who wore and wear the NHS jersey, doctors, nurses, technicians, assistants and many others who guarantee the functioning of the NHS with many difficulties.

People who are needed, people who are necessary, for the sake of users, for the sake of the NHS, attracted, retained, valued and respected.

There are no secrets here either.

Respect professionals, valorise careers, face the looting that the big disease business is promoting. Invest in the NHS and the waiting lists, the postponements, the many hundreds of thousands who do not have a family doctor, will have access to healthcare.

Healthcare, as Abril established, is not a business, it is everyone's right.

This April, which today, with the strength of the people, needs to be resumed in what it also brought in terms of dignity to those who work and have worked their entire lives.

People who, with their effort, their work, their dedication, ensured the functioning of the country and for whom there is a duty to guarantee the conditions for a life with dignity.

Retired people, pensioners and elderly people who need a public network of support facilities, who need to have their pensions increased, recovering lost purchasing power, ensuring that in 2024 an increase of 7.5% is set, with retroactive effects to January, thus ensuring that no pensioner has an increase of less than 70 euros in their pension. Likewise, ensuring that, in 2024, the minimum pension for those who retire with 40 years of social security payments increases from the current 462 to 555 euros.

Anyone who works for 40 years, who contributes 40 years of life with their work, has the right to their full pension, without penalisations.

This April, which today, with the strength of the people, needs to return to what it represents in terms of the right to the protection of children.

This April of hope, joy and rights for children and their parents.

This April which demands a public daycare centre network, this April of the end of precariousness and against the misuse of shift work.

This April of women's emancipation and youth’s rights.

These youth who leave the country because the country does not create the conditions for them to remain here.

Respond to the real problems of the youth, put an end to precariousness, increase wages, create conditions for them to remain here, live here and work here and certainly that the will of the vast majority, having the conditions to do so, is to remain here and they are so needed.

This April that put an end to monopolies and imposed the subordination of economic power to political power.

This is a central issue today, a fundamental option that needs to be taken.

The country is being plundered by ruinous privatisations, shady deals and the corruption associated with it.

And as if this were not enough, there are new attempts to privatise whatever remains of companies and public sectors, as is the case with TAP, but also to legalise tomorrow under the name of lobbying what today is the crime of influence peddling.

Recovering Abril is putting economic power where it should always have been, subordinate to political power.

Only in this way is it possible to invest in national production, employment with rights, satisfaction of the country's needs, recover and guarantee instruments of sovereignty.

Their correct accounts have only served the same, with the same people paying those correct accounts and this has to end once and for all.

This April that today, with the strength of the people, is needed to resume with a clear option for peace and to put an end to the war, this April that defined us as a people of solidarity, of cooperation, friendship and Peace.

This Peace that once again urgently needs to be claimed and demanded.

This April of political, economic, social and cultural democracy.

This April of 50 years that is all this and much more, this April that is more future.

Our project, the project of the workers, the people, the democrats, the patriots, are the values of April in the future of Portugal.

This is the challenge facing everyone, those who are rightly dissatisfied and outraged, those who, hoping for solutions for their lives, were led to vote for the PS and who today realise that the only way to have a policy at their service is strengthening, also at the electoral level, the PCP and the CDU.

More strength to the strength of the Given Word, Dignity and Trust, more votes and more MPs from April, the MPs who are needed and have never, and will never, be lacking in solutions and policies that correspond to the wishes and rights of workers and populations, as they have always been and will be on the first line of combat against everything negative, wherever it comes from.

With the CDU, everyone knows what they count on, with clarity and transparency.

They can broadcast all the opinion polls, all the scenarios, they can try to reduce the discussion to an exchange of pleasantries, imaginary scenarios, they can avoid the discussion about the reality in which the Portuguese people live, they can come with pressure and blackmail, but will not count on the PCP for these manoeuvres.

“Which policy, and above all, who does it serve?”

This is the answer that needs to be given. The country's problems cannot be solved with declarations of good intentions, with changes in style or by recycling the players.

Giving strength to PSD, CDS, Chega and IL is giving votes to regression, it is returning to a time of bad memory for our people, with governments, options and policies, of those who now call themselves AD but also those who today are in Chega and the Liberal Initiative.

Yes, they were all there in the Government and in support of the troika's national disaster policy, in the Governments of aggression against the people and the Country; yes, they were all there, PSD, CDS, Chega and IL cutting pensions, cutting wages, stealing holidays and Christmas bonuses.

They were all there and prepared, if their action had not been interrupted, to continue and expand their plan of destruction.

We know quite well who they are, we know quite well where they come from and what they want to do.

And we also know that giving strength to the PS is giving votes to an illusion, it is giving strength to those who, as these two years of their absolute majority reveal, did not respond nor wanted to respond to the problems.

Don't count on the PCP to feed illusions.

Illusions don't pay the bills, illusions always lead us to false solutions.

The PCP was not, is not, and will not be a prop for the policy that squeezes the lives of the majority and opens the doors to scandalous profits for economic groups.

The path is more strength, more votes and more CDU MPs.

To elect MPs serving bankers, shareholders of CTT, Altice or ANA, large retail companies, multinationals, the impositions of the European Union, NATO and war, there are several options.

MPs committed to April, CDU MPs, these are indeed needed.

We clearly say to all those who aspire to a better life that the CDU is the guarantee of achieving that objective, furthermore they know that here lies the force that, with greater strength, will be in a position to force that today’s promises are tomorrow’s solutions, even against the will of those who promise them today.

The path is more strength, more votes and more CDU MPs.

More strength to wages, pensions, more strength to the National Health Service, more strength to housing, more strength to parental and children's rights, more strength to public schools, more April.

To those who are undecided and have not yet decided on their vote; to those who, for this or that reason, are inclined to vote for others, but who may still change their minds; to those who, in the face of everything they see and feel in their lives, are tired and without prospect, to those who are precisely fed up with lies, corruption and shady deals; we say to you, give strength to your strength, give strength to the CDU.

Give your vote to the CDU, the right vote, the vote that doesn't betray, the vote that doesn't have two faces, the vote that doesn't sway with the wind.

To those who believe that a different path is needed, here we are, here is the CDU to give that answer.

Parties are not all the same, as much as they would like that to be the case.

Here are those who, at all times, under all circumstances, show their face and are at the side of those who work and those who fight for a better life and the decent life to which everyone has the right.

A struggle that will continue, that does not wait, that does not wait to see what happens, but that is an active, central and decisive part of the construction of the April alternative that is necessary, before and after the elections.

To uphold the values of April there are not only communists and ecologists.

To uphold the April values are many thousands of democrats and patriots who every year, from North to South of the country, take to the streets, walking the avenues of freedom and the future.

Who feel that it is not only time to resist, but also to move forward.

Who refuse fear and single thought. And who know that there is an indispensable force for democracy, freedom, justice and social progress. A force that every day is seen as a factor of hope and social transformation. A force that can and will grow in the coming elections.

Let us not give up on anyone, those who are undecided, those who are dissatisfied, those who think they are not going to vote, those who, faced with everyday difficulties, have stopped believing.

Let's not give up on anyone and it's with everyone that we have to talk, because it's also with everyone that we're with and we're going to build the alternative.

The vote of the worker, the vote of each one of us, the vote of each user, the vote of those who are distressed with housing payments and rent, the vote of micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and producers, the vote of pensioners, of young people, of immigrants, is worth as much as that of the owners of GALP, Pingo Doce, CTT, Altice, but it could be worth even more if it is a vote for the CDU and not placed in the same bag as of those who think they own all this.

And this is really the time to face those who think they own all this, the owners of the country.

There are more and more people, different people and even people who supported other parties, who join this force, the force of change that is needed, the force of April, the force that knows that the country is not poor but has been impoverished.

Of this country that has resources, has means, the country has trustworthy and honest people, trustworthy and honest people with the will and strength to stop those who think they are the owners of all this and put the country moving forward on the path of April, of its achievements and rights.

On this track that marks our history, on the track of the April values essential for the future of Portugal, on this track where the people are the ones who are in charge.

Long live the CDU!

Long live the JCP!

Long live the PCP!