Speech by Rui Braga, Member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, XXI Congress of the PCP

Asserting a policy of sovereign development. The Economy’s Strategic Sectors

Asserting a policy of sovereign development. The Economy’s Strategic Sectors

Comrades,

At the core of the project to break with the right-wing policy lies breaking with the interests and the domination of big monopoly capital over the country. As a central axis of the alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy which the PCP proposes, lies the ever more necessary goal of recovering public control of the national economy’s strategic sectors.

This proposal is based on our critical assessment of the country’s situation, on the concrete reality that impacts the lives of millions of Portuguese, on the developments in the economic and social situation over the past few decades, on Portugal’s role in the world, on its degree of development and the conditions to exercise its sovereignty, on the conditions that were created by the April Revolution and the Constitution of the Republic and the unpostponable urgency of breaking with the counter-revolutionary process and raising once again the values and ideals of April.

The scale of the problems confronting the country, which was increased and laid bare by the current situation, has above all revealed chronic insufficiencies and bottlenecks which have long affected the country and which require responses.

Its structural productive, technological, energy and demographic deficits; its productive profile, based on low wages and skills, with a significant increase in unemployment during the past few months; weakened public services and structures of the Public Administration; scarse public investment, which is today less than half what it was a decade ago; strategic companies and sectors which are in the hands of, and controlled by, foreign multinational corporations; an economic tissue which is dominated by small and medium companies and is marked by strategic frailness and confronted with the threat of thousands of bankruptcies; a large foreign dependence in the economic, budgetary and financial spheres, which is inseparable from a public endebtment that will, at the end of this year, once again exceed 130% of the GDP.

The solution to these major problems is incompatible with policies that favour the monopolies; with privatizations, tax benefits, aid of millions for the big interests; with favours and deals that are ruinous for the public purse. It is incompatible with a policy of subjugation and surrender to the impositions of the European Union, that counters the interests and aspirations of the workers, the people and the country. It is incompatible with those who speak to the people and the country as if they had no responsibilities and promise new illusions, in order to continue their permanent policies of submission to the interests of the big economic groups.

The solution of such major problems is incompatible with a policy that counters the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

What the situation demands is a policy that breaks with the policy which, for decades, has generated and accumulated such fundamental problems. A patriotic and left-wing policy that can halt the degradation of the economic and social situation, can recover public control of the economy’s strategic sectors and which may ensure conditions for the country’s sovereign development, overcoming the key structural deficits, preparing the country for the needs and challenges that it will confront in the forthcoming years.

Recovering public control over the economy’s strategic sectors is not just a fundamental axis of the patriotic and left-wing policy which the country needs. It is above all a condition for the country’s development and to assert its sovereignty.

Whether through nationalizations, agreements or other forms of State intervention, it is the task of a patriotic and left-wing Government to break with the power of the monopolies and open the path to the recovery, by the Portuguese people, of the economy’s strategic sectors. This option is naturally intertwined with the demand to renegotiate the debt, in terms of deadlines, interest rates and amounts, and to prepare the country for leaving the Euro; with the increase in wages – in particular the National Minimum Wage – in old-age and other pensions; with defending and promoting national production; with effectively taxing big capital and a tax reform that will ease the burden for the workers and small and medium companies; by valuing public services and the State’s social functions; by asserting national sovereignty.

Forty-six years after the 25th of April, the situation demands a strong and active State Entrepreneurial Sector, at the service of democracy and development. This is an indispensible factor to respond to the country’s problems, to preserve in national hands decisive economic levers, to promote a policy of employment and of raising living standards.

Forty-six years after that liberating dawn in April, we reaffirm that the indispensible break and change in the country’s life is all the more achievable, the stronger the development of the mass struggle and the broader the assertion of opposition to the right-wing policies. Building this change is in the hands of the workers and the people, counting, as they always have, with the PCP’s decisive action and intervention in defense of their rights, for a more just, developed and sovereign Portugal.

Long live the PCP’s 21st Congress!

Long live the PCP!

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  • Intervenções
  • XXI Congresso
  • Central
Intervenções
XXI Congresso