Statement of the PCP Central Committee of June 29th - 30th, 2014

Statement of the PCP Central Committee of June 29th - 30th, 2014

The Central Committee of PCP, in its June 29th-30th 2014 meeting , analyzed the country's economic, social and political situation, the deeply damaging consequences of the Government's right-wing policy and action, as well as its confrontation with the Constitution of the Republic; evaluated the development of the worker's and people's struggle; appreciated aspects of the international and European Union situation; and defined guidelines for political initiative, the struggle for achieving a patriotic and left-wing alternative and the reinforcement of the Party.

I – The national situation and the struggle for a rupture with right-wing politics

1. For more than three and a half decades the politics of the right-wing and of national abdication, in the service of large economic and financial groups, aggravated with the imposition by the national and foreign troikas of the Aggression Pact, led the country into the most serious economic and social situation of democratic Portugal.

Despite all the mystifications, namely the so-called «economic miracle» and the staging around the alleged «clean exit», the PSD/CDS-PP Government and the parties that support it can no longer hide the consequences of a brutal anti-social and anti-popular escalation undertaken in the name of a crisis and supposedly overcoming the public debt and budget deficit – a process commanded by big capital and national and international groups, of which the PS, PSD and CDS-PP are the main agents. A policy of exploitation that is leading the people and the country to poverty with dramatic consequences for the lives of millions of Portuguese.

2. The Central Committee of PCP alerts to the fact that the evolution of the national situation not only confirms the deepening of the economic and social crisis, but also the development of a political and institutional crisis, and puts into evidence the urgent need for a rupture with right-wing policies.

In the economic sphere, the situation is still marked by the longest and deepest recession since WWII, with an accumulated 6% decline in GDP over the last 3 years. A reality accompanied by the structural dimension of unemployment, afflicting more than 1.4 million workers; the generalization of precarious work, afflicting almost 3 million people. High levels of emigration – only comparable with those of the 1960s – together with the fall in birth rates, consequence of the decaying social situation, and the brutal fall of investment in this period, of about 35% (infrastructures, equipments, machinery, technology and research), with immediate effects in the present and, if the current policies are not reversed, projected into future of economic, social and demographic shrinkage that compromises the future of the country as a sovereign nation. In response to the logic of concentration and accumulation inherent to the capitalist nature, there is not only an intensification of the process of reconstitution of monopolies in Portugal, but also an accentuation of the path of capitalist integration of the European Union, namely with the Budget Treaty and the Euro, to which PS, PSD and CDS have manacled Portugal.

An offensive that, in the economic, financial and budgetary sphere presumes to maintain Portugal tied to the same policies that led the country to disaster, as shown by the Document of Budgetary Strategy, which points towards an new increase in VAT, an increase in the so-called Single Social Tax on workers, the application of a cap on pensions and the replacement of an extraordinary solidarity tax by a permanent tax on the incomes of workers and the retired. All of which is joined by the continuation of the policy of privatizations.

An offensive that expresses the profound conflict of interests that today exists in the Portuguese society and that has deepened: on the one side, the economic and financial groups, associated and dependent on big foreign capital and that dominate strategic sectors like the banks and, no less important, the political power; on the other, the workers, farmers, fishermen, the small and medium businessmen, the youth, the women, the retired and other non-monopolist social groups who are suffering the consequences of policies that serve the first group.

The Central Committee of PCP clarifies that, just as it alerted, the so-called «clean exit» constitutes not only an immense lie, but an element of propaganda to seek to mask the true aims of the troika policies. The reaffirmation by the government and the international institutions (from the European Union to the IMF) of their condemnation of Portugal to a regime of conditional probation for three more decades, the meteoric growth of the public debt (around 132% of the GDP) with brutal costs, present and future (it's estimated that in 2015 the interest payments of the public debt to the banks will be higher than 8 billion euros), as well as the statement, by the Bank of Portugal, that there is an alleged need of more than 7 billion euros in expense cuts over the next years, reveal the project of pursuing a policy that, under the pretext of so-called «financial assistance», led the country into an economic and social abyss.

3. The Central Committee of PCP alerts to the body of information that, presented as a war of succession within the family Espírito Santo, seek to mask the reality of practices developed by the financial groups – ties of domination, both economic and political; manipulation of accounts and markets; tax evasion – ensuring, through obscure practices, self-financing and huge profit margins at the cost of exploitation of its workers, clients and credit costs passed onto families, the State and small and medium businesses.

Once more, as in the cases of BPN, BPP, BCP or BANIF, the processes developed under the complicity of successive governments of PS, PSD and CDS and the passivity of the Bank of Portugal – increasingly at the service of banking interests – cost the public billions of euros. At the same time, there are mounting tax pardons and scandalous public benefits and financing to the banks, as those being prepared by a recent government proposal.

Besides demanding a clarification and intervention from the Bank of Portugal and government that ends all fraudulent situations and it's impunity, the Central Committee of PCP reaffirms, simultaneously, the need for public control over commercial banks, placing them not in the service of this or that family or groups of stockholders, but in the service of the people and country.

4. The Central Committee of PCP denounces the intensification of the offensive by the government, and parties that support it, to impose new measures of exploitation, liquidation of rights and leading to further poverty, such as, the new attack upon rights and wages, in particular the General Law of Jobs in Public Functions and the revision of the Labor Code, whose objective is to destroy collective bargaining; the proposals to ensure the Single Wage Table and the table of supplements of the Public Administration; the measures that aim to impose more cuts on wages and pensions, transforming what was transitory and exceptional, into definitive and permanent; a new raise in taxes upon labor earnings and family consumption; a reduction in access to health, education and social protection, with new cuts in Public Services; the maneuvers to escape paying in full the holiday and christmas subsidies to Public Administration workers and those in the State Business Sector, against what was determined by the recent decision of the Constitutional Court.

The Central Committee of PCP also alerts to the program of closing hundreds of schools in the first cycle of basic education; the eminence of institutions of higher education not having enough money to pay wages; the recent publication of a reclassification of public hospitals, increasing the limitation of access to hospital care and the decay of health care; to the project of creating the so-called «single counters» that aim to lead to the closure of public services and firing thousands of workers, transferring to the municipalities expenses of matters that are the responsibility of the Central Administration; to the proposal to create the so-called Municipal Support Fund – FAM, which in itself is a factor of financial extortion to all municipalities and a further step in the attack upon the sovereignty of local power.

The Central Committee of PCP condemns the proposal of altering the Vacant Plot Law, that aims to rob the parties of their historic and constitutional rights and extinguish or privatize the Casa do Douro, leaving thousands of wine-growers unprotected before the economic groups and export businesses.

5. The most recent developments, namely the successive attacks on the Constitutional Court and its judges, which confirm what PCP has long denounced: we are before one government, one majority and one policy that assume in its action that the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic is an obstacle to his projects.

The fact that the Constitutional Court, in the decision made public last May 30th, declared three norms of the State Budget unconstitutional (cuts in the wages of Public Administration workers; cuts in survival pensions; application of cuts on unemployment and sick benefits) in what is the third declaration of unconstitutionality in so many State Budgets presented by this government, in addition to six diplomas, confirm that the Government insists in governing outside the law and the Constitution.
The Central Committee of PCP denounces the escalation in institutional confrontation translated into multiple accusations directed at the judges of the Constitutional Court; the stalling maneuvers of the Government with the aim of transferring to this Court the responsibility of new measures of attack upon workers and the people in preparation; the attempts of not abiding the decisions of the Constitutional Court; the manipulation of parliament so that it would assume, despite PCP's opposition, a request for clarification of the decision.

The Central Committee of PCP denounces the projects of Revision of the Constitution of those, like PSD and CDS, who act systematically in confrontation with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, aiming to subvert it.

6. The Central Committee of PCP reaffirms that in the current situation of political and institutional crisis, with a government and a parliamentary majority that have long questioned the regular working of institutions, the President of the Republic, while maintaining the Government in function and not calling for early elections, did not take steps, contrary to what he affirms, to surpass the national problems, but has worsened the economic, social, political and institutional crisis the country faces.

For PCP there is no other worthy and democratic exit except the dissolution of Parliament and early elections.

The Motion of Censure presented by PCP, with the objective of giving institutional expression to the people's censure, with it's vote, expressed to the Government parties, constituted a strong affirmation that the struggle for resignation of the government is just and will not stop. The discussion and rejection of the motion, with the votes of PSD and CDS, underlined that the parliamentary majority that supports the government does not correspond to the reality of the country and this gave greater strength to the need for dissolving parliament.

7. The real perspectives of rupture with the current policy expressed in the development of the struggle, in the broadening of convergences of democratic sectors and individualities and in particular the electoral reinforcement of CDU explain not only the undisguisable concern of big capital but also of many of the movements that aim to ensure the pursuit of right-wing policies and hinder real alternative politics. An expression of the movements are the insistence of the President in the so-called «governing consensus», aimed to favor the formal understanding of the parties of the troika policy (PS, PSD, CDS); the ongoing process in the PS, under the guise of a leadership dispute, aiming to elude not only the nature and right-wing options of this party but erase its undisguisable commitment with the projects and instruments they aim to perpetuate into the future by submitting to the European Union and the interests that command it, and pursue a right-wing policy, with the Budgetary Treaty or other instruments; the construction and promotion of false alternatives that, in the name of a so-called «understanding on the left», aim but to make viable a commitment and accrual with PS towards the continuation of a policy of national disaster.

A rupture with the current policy and the construction of an alternative policy are inseparable from the decisive struggle against right-wing policies and the offensive the government is developing against social rights and achievements. But it is also inseparable from the struggle against recurrent false alternatives, based on mere solutions of alteration (tied to PS's resuming the adulteration of the electoral law) which, in name of the rotation of protagonists and those responsible, leaves untouched the direction, options and contents of the policies that dragged the country into the crisis we're facing today.

8. The rupture with the right-wing policy and the affirmation of a patriotic and left policy, rooted in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the values of April, constitute a national imperative. A patriotic and left policy centered on six fundamental options: the renegotiation of the debt in its amounts, interest rates, deadlines and payment conditions, rejecting its illegitimate fraction; the defense and increase of national production, the recovery for the State of the financial sector and other companies and strategic sectors; effectively valuing wages and pensions and the explicit commitment to recover stolen wages, incomes and rights, including social benefits; a policy of struggle against tax injustice with the effective taxation of big capital; a policy of defense and recovery of public services, in particular the social functions of the State; a sovereign policy and the affirmation of the primacy of national interests.

9. Given the path of commitment and the future projects of PS, PSD and CDS to ensure, with the present or other faces, the continuation of the right-wing policies; when the possibility is increasingly evident that through its action and option, the Portuguese workers and people give strength to a alternative policy; before the decreasing credibility of the parties of the troika policy in the face of undisguisable commitments with the path of exploitation and poverty – there are increasingly more people that find in PCP the indispensable force to ensure a Portugal with a future.

By the coherence of its intervention, by the patriotic and left-wing dimension of its proposals, the value of its project, the history of its work, honesty and competence, by its recognized policy of truth, which reality has shown to be right, PCP presents itself before the Country, workers, democrats and patriots, as the force capable of aggregating, uniting and mobilizing all that aspire to a rupture with right-wing policies and building a patriotic and left-wing policy and a government that will give it expression.

Rescuing the country from decline and dependence is the option before the workers, democrats and patriots. The Central Committee of PCP appeals to workers, democrats and patriots to unite their efforts, integrate the social front of struggle against the right-wing policy and then, with its struggle and determination, contribute to liberate the country from submission, affirming the inalienable right of a sovereign and developed Portugal. 

II -For a patriotic and left-wing alternative

1. The Central Committee stresses, as a fundamental factor, that a rupture with the course of national disaster and the adoption of a patriotic and left-wing policy are the basis of the real alternative that the situation demands. The process of the implementation of the alternative has as decisive elements the development and intensification of the struggle of the workers and the people, the convergence of democrats and patriots and the strengthening of the PCP and its allies in the CDU.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP analysed the development of the action to make a rupture with the right-wing policy and the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing alternative.

Included in this dynamics, in the aftermath of the elections to the European Parliament, are: the rallies and marches held; the propaganda actions and thematic issues of “Avante!” (wages and the national minimum wage, budgetary strategy document, labour legislation and collective bargaining, public services, NHS and Public School); the holding of sessions and meetings and contacts within the scope of "Dialogue and action for a patriotic and left-wing alternative"; the holding of meetings with the Ecologist Party "The Greens" and the Democratic Intervention Association; initiatives at the institutional level, including the presentation of a motion of censure against the PSD / CDS-PP government and a meeting of a PCP delegation with the President of the Republic, the initiative by PCP’s EP members in the European Parliament to confront the European Commission on the acts of interference against Portugal.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP points out the need to pursue a persistent, determined and increasingly broad work to make a rupture with the right-wing policy and the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing policy, which includes the following actions:
- The holding of an action aimed at the workers and the population, to be expressed in the action of contact with workers regarding labour legislation (Labour Code and legislation on Public Administration), collective bargaining and overtime and on action focused on defence of public services and social functions of the state (NHS, public schools, social security) against the closure and disqualification of courts and against privatisations.

- The celebrations of the 40th anniversary of 25th. April and the cycle of debates under the theme "The Values ​​of April in Portugal's future," which includes debates on Local Government, on July 11 in Setúbal, and on the public control of strategic companies and sectors, on July 16 in Oporto.

- The holding of a debate on the theme «The situation in Portugal and in Europe following the elections to the European Parliament. The struggle in defence of the interests of the workers, the people and the country», in the framework of PCP’s intervention in the European Parliament, as well as other initiatives in particular on the need for a renegotiation of the debt and a wider discussion and initiative regarding the Euro.

- Dynamization of the process "Dialogue and action for a patriotic and left-wing alternative", continuing and extending the debate with democrats and patriots in various meetings and contacts with persons without party affiliation.

- The holding of a series of meetings and reunions with forces, social and political sectors and others bodies to assess the situation and outline PCP’s position.

III - Develop mass struggle

1. The struggle of the working class, the workers and the people stands out due to its continuity and diversity, for its role on specific claims, in facing the onslaught of worsening exploitation and impoverishment, the contribution to the political and social isolation and the defeat of the Government and the right-wing policy, the confident affirmation of a developed and sovereign Portugal.

2. The Central Committee appreciates the struggles of workers in industrial companies and sectors (pulp and paper, food, metal works, electrical and electronic equipment, textiles - among others), canteens, hotels, post offices, in passenger road transport, the media, the central and local public administration, professionals of security forces and services, the military.

Also highlights the struggles of farmers (peoples of the common lands and winemakers of the Douro River), youth and students, particularly in higher education, the struggle of pensioners and retired with various expressions, standing out the holding in Sines of the 19th Picnicon promoted by the National Confederation of Pensioners-MURPI with thousands of participants, the struggle of people with disabilities and the struggle of the populations against the closure of public services, health centres and hospital services, schools, tax offices, police stations and courts.

We highlight the struggle last month against the privatization of EGF and in defence of the public service of treatment and reuse of waste that united workers from Valorsul, Amarsul and other companies of the group, local government workers, the populations and Local Government bodies in the National Action on June 6, in Lisbon.

In this period the week of struggle from 26-30 May and the big rallies held on June 14 at Oporto and June 21 in Lisbon, organized by CGTP assumed particular importance.

3. In the context of a strong offensive and all kinds of constraints, the struggle of the masses, workers, various social strata and sectors, of the Portuguese people, inflicted serious defeats on the government and obtained important results.

It has to be stressed that the workers' struggle is inseparable from the decisions that forced the Government, despite delaying tactics, to fully pay back the salaries of the employees of public administration, as well as holiday and Christmas bonuses, full payment of unemployment and sickness benefits.

The maintenance or restoration of the 35-hour week in most municipalities and in many parishes represent a major setback for the Government and the aims of big business regarding working hours and a great victory for the workers.

Also to be noted are the results obtained in wage increases, protection of rights, employment of workers under casual labour, protection of jobs.

The Central Committee of the PCP appreciates the struggle, resistance and the results and highlights the prominent role of CGTP-IN, of the broad united trade union movement, the trade unions that are part of it and the trade union action and organisation in companies and workplaces. It also stresses the role of Workers' Committees with their action be they their own, complementary or in cooperation with the trade unions. The organisation is essential to ensure the unity of the working class and the workers and the development of the struggle on the basis of their class interests and in defence of their rights.

4. The Central Committee attaches great importance to the development, broadening and intensification of the struggle of workers around their claims. The development of claiming action in companies, workplaces and sectors is a key element, which should be linked to the struggle to face and defeat the aims to change for worse the labour legislation and the continuation of the cuts in wages and rights.

In the current situation, the struggle for the defence of public services, the National Health Service, public schools, social security, courts and against privatisations is an important line of work.

While highlighting the ongoing struggles in various sectors, the Central Committee of the PCP calls for the participation in the day of struggle called by CGTP for July 10 in Lisbon.

The convergence of the struggle of workers, of different social strata and sectors, based on their goals and specific claims, is crucial to the defeat of the Government and the right-wing policy and for holding early parliamentary elections, paving the way for the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing alternative.

IV - Strengthen the struggle, the solidarity and anti-imperialist cooperation.

1. The Central Committee draws attention to the growth of instability and insecurity in the international situation, due to the escalade of aggression led by U.S. imperialism that, multiplying sources of tension and destabilization, fosters war and promotes the action of fascist forces to try to cope with the profound crisis it faces and contain the struggle of the workers and peoples.

The worsening situation in the Ukraine, resulting from violence exercised by the power resulting from the coup, backed by the U.S., NATO and the European Union; the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, with the recent events in Iraq; the continuing aggression against Syria; the systematic crimes by Israel against the Palestinian people; the re-colonisation operations in Africa; the increasing militarization of the Far East carried out by the U.S. and revanchist Japan; the increasingly open interference by the U.S. in Venezuela and other Latin American countries - are examples of imperialism’s aggressive escalade.

In view of such a situation, it is particularly important to build the broadest unity around the struggle against imperialism and war, in particular the strengthening of the peace movement and of solidarity with the people victims of imperialist aggression.

The dangers arising from the disturbing international developments clearly show the need to strengthen the communist parties, the strengthening of their cooperation and their cooperation with other progressive and anti-imperialist forces.

2. At the European level, the PCP, always committed to strengthening the cooperation among the communist parties, seeks to contribute to the common or convergent action of all progressive forces that, respecting their identity and independence, aim for another Europe of workers and peoples.

The PCP considers that positions of adapting to the system, such as those of the European Left Party, or dogmatic and sectarian concepts, have introduced factors of division and misunderstanding that hinder cooperation and solidarity among the communist parties and other progressive forces in Europe, namely in the European Parliament.

The Central Committee considers positive the role of the PCP, in cooperation with other political forces, to continue the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL) and its contribution to the struggle for another Europe. The PCP values ​​that, despite its greater diversity, it confirms the basic principles of the functioning of the Group - confederal nature; autonomy and own identity in relation to other political groups in the European Parliament and other structures or fields of cooperation; decisions by consensus; equality between its delegations and respect for their differences. The importance and the current and future role of the Group are indissociable for ensuring the practical application of these principles and its intervention in favour of a Europe of cooperation, progress and peace.

The PCP will continue to intervene - in particular in the European Parliament - in defence of the interests of the workers, of the people and of the Country, rejecting impositions and restrictions on democracy and on the will of the people and working for a rupture with the European Union of big monopolies and great powers, for a Europe of cooperation among sovereign States and equal in rights, of social progress and peace.

V - For a stronger PCP

1. The Portuguese Communist Party confirms and affirms, with its communist identity, as a party necessary, indispensable and irreplaceable for the workers, the people and the Country, a Party aware of the difficulties and hurdles and determined to overcome them. The party on whom the workers and the people can always rely.

2. The Central Committee stresses the importance of the guidelines and tasks in the near future: the dynamics of political intervention; stimulating the development of mass struggle; work to strengthen organisations and united mass movements, in particular the broad united trade union movement; developing the broad united political work, and the intensification of the international activity of the Party.

3. Regarding the tasks and guidelines for the near future, the Central Committee stresses the particular importance of the 38th Avante! Festival which will be held on September 5, 6 and 7, 2014 and the priority to work for its success.

4. The Central Committee highlights in terms of editorial activity the launching of the V volume of the chosen works of Alvaro Cunhal, on July 17 in Lisbon, which gathers contributions from April 1974 to December 1975, a major element to learn about the author's work, the action of the PCP and the April Revolution.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP appreciates the intense international activity, carried out during this period and emphasizes the holding of the International Seminar "The Portuguese Revolution and the situation in Europe and the world 40 years later “, on September 5, as well as the 16th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, from November 13 to 15, in Ecuador.

6.The Central Committee of the PCP analysed the implementation of the action for strengthening the Party "More organization, more intervention, more influence - a stronger PCP", whose progress confirms its importance and timeliness, highlights the steps already taken and points the need to pursue and adopt the measures required for its indispensible success.

The Central Committee highlights the start of the action of contact with Party members and the development of action to recruit new members, "The Values ​​April in Portugal's future" as well as the progress in other laid down guidelines.

The Central Committee considers it necessary to focus attention on the materialising the defined fundamental guidelines:

- the action of contact with members of the Party to increase militancy, hand the new Party membership card and update data, speeding its development and ensuring in the contact with every member of the Party's taking into consideration various aspects required to increase their integration and militancy;

- the work of recruitment, in particular by implementing the Party’s membership campaign , “The Values ​​April in Portugal's future”, with two thousand new members by April 2015, broadening the survey of names and contacts and promoting the integration and training of new Party members;

- the action to increase the capacity of leadership, broaden the accountability of the cadres and raise militancy;

- the priority to strengthen the Party’s organisation and intervention with the working class and the workers, in the companies and workplaces;

- work to give more strength to the mass struggle and political intervention, structuring the organisation and improving its functioning: dynamizing local organisations and their structuring, own initiative and ties to the masses; promoting the organisation of retired and pensioner militants and a structure that contributes to the stimulation of a broad united movement of retirees, pensioners and seniors, their organisation and struggle; reinforcing the action and organisation in the field of culture and among intellectuals and technical cadres, in their various expressions; deepening the work with the youth and strengthening the JCP;
intensifying the action and adoption of measures of organisation and cadres among micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs and among small and medium-size farmers taking further steps to expand their movements and struggles; developing the structuring of work among other strata, social sectors and specific areas of intervention, namely the broad united political work;

- reinforcement of the means and intervention of the Party, regarding the party press, information and propaganda;

- take actions to defend and strengthen the financial independence of the Party.

7. Confident in the strength of the workers, committed to the development and broadening of the social front of the struggle, the PCP reaffirms its commitment to the Portuguese people, to fight in defence of their rights and aspirations, for a sovereign and developed Portugal, for a rupture with the right-wing policy and the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing policy, for an Advanced Democracy - the values of April ​​in Portugal’s future, with Socialism and Communism on the horizon.

  • Central
  • Álvaro Cunhal
  • European Union
  • Nato
  • Peace Movement
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • War