Statement by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary

On the results for the elections to the European Parliament

On the results for the elections to the European Parliament

1. The CDU’s result is not only particularly negative for the defense of the interests of the people and the country in the European parliament, as it does not correspond either to the environment of support that was expressed during the campaign, nor to the systematic recognition of the CDU’s work in the European Parliament and the decisive contribution that was made by the PCP [Portuguese Communist Party] and the PEV [Ecologist Party - the Greens] towards the advances in living standards that were achieved during the past three and a half years.

With this result, the defense of the people’s and the country’s interests in the European Parliament becomes more fragile. If the elections that were now held had undeniable significance, the general elections of next October will be the decisive moment to determine the course of the country’s political life, and the lives of the Portuguese people, in the forthcoming years.

Today’s result must represent a warning sign for all those who have, in their hands, the power to decide whether they want to, by strengthening the CDU, make the country and their lives go forward, or if they want to run the risk of going backwards and losing all that they achieved in terms of rights, wages and retirement pensions.

This result only strengthens the need to broaden the awareness among an ever greater number of Portuguese that strengthening the CDU in the general elections of October is the key condition to ensure that all that was won with the struggle and the persistent struggle of the PCP and PEV is not reverted, and that new advances can be made in defending, restoring and winning rights.

What has to be stressed at this moment is that strengthening the CDU is the decisive element in moving forward with an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, freed from the impositions of the European Union and the Euro [currency].

2. The Portuguese people are confronted with important choices regarding the future. The CDU, with the struggle of the workers, had a decisive role in all the advances that were achieved, be they the increase in pensions and the restoration in full of the Christmas bonuses, the reduction in the prices of the public transportation passes, the increase in family allowances, free textbooks, the reduction in labour income taxes.

Looking towards the future, the CDU stresses the need to develop the struggle against the harmful norms of the labour legislation, against precariousness and the deregulation of working hours.

CDU places the overall increase in wages for all workers as a national emergency, including raising the national minimum wage to 850 euros.

CDU stresses the demand of advancing and providing an immediate response to the financing of public services, beginning with the National Health Service, Public Education, Public Social Security, and the increase in offer of public transportation, so as to correspond to the needs and contribute to overcome environmental problems, as well as the right to housing.

CDU affirms the need for, and asserts itself as the standard-bearer of, an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, and of alternative policies that can respond to the country’s interests and ensure a developed and sovereign Portugal.

3. In anticipating the interpretations of those who have done everything to belittle CDU and its activity, we recall that the important result that we obtained in 2014 has to be seen within a framework that was marked by the implementation of the [Troika’s] Aggression Pact, a period in which the role and the consequences of the European Union’s impositions upon the country were felt in a clearer way.

The CDU’s result cannot be seen in isolation from an intense and long operation that sought to belittle its activity and work, with campaigns of defamation, inspiring prejudice and a meticulous action to belittle the CDU’s campaign and electoral prospects, together with the shameless promotion of other political forces. These guidelines and operations can be understood, because it is the CDU - given what it represents and defends - that monopoly capital and the most reactionary sectors fear, as an obstacle to their projects of submitting the country and destroying working peoples’ rights.

4. As we stated, more strength to the CDU would create better conditions to work in defense of the rights of the workers and the people. In the present conditions, the CDU will continue its intervention to defend and fight for the country’s sovereign development and to raise the people’s living standards.

5. CDU greets the thousands of Portuguese who, with their vote, gave a decisive contribution towards the action for raising awareness and mobilizing. To all those who took the step of transforming their support and recognition for the CDU’s seriousness and coherence into a vote, namely those who did so for the first time. To all of them we reaffirm our commitment to always honour our pledges and act in defence of the workers and the people, their rights and aspirations. All of you may count on the CDU to be on your side in the defense of your interests and to build, with you, a better future.

The CDU greets all the candidates, and the thousands of activists who built the campaign of awareness-raising and mobilization which not only was the decisive factor in achieving the CDU’s result, as it broadened the awareness among the workers and the people of the reasons behind, and of those who are responsible for, the constraints against our sovereign development that have been imposed by the process of capitalist integration, the urgency of breaking with the choices that have created the right-wing policies and of building a political alternative.

We must not move backwards, what is needed is to move forward - and that means strengthening the CDU.