Statement of the Political Committee of the Central Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party on the political situation and its developments
The violent offensive against the rights of the workers and populations, of attack on the democratic regime and national sovereignty, has met in the mass struggle, with particular emphasis on the workers’ struggle, a determining factor to resist it and help to raise the social and political awareness of large strata of Portuguese people. It was this daily struggle in the companies and streets, this larger struggle represented by the General Strike, that irreparably shook this government, swelled contradictions, undermined its credibility and isolated it socially.
The resignations of Vítor Gaspar [Finance Minister] and Paulo Portas [Foreign Affairs Minister], inseparable from the degradation of the economic and social situation imposed by the Pact of Aggression [the socalled memorandum of understanding with the EU and IMF], confirm the development of a deep political and institutional crisis and the debacle of an illegitimate government and majority.
A government and a majority that are responsible for the suffering and impoverishment caused to millions of Portuguese, and are today, by the force of the workers’ and people’s struggle, politically defeated.
1. The country is witnessing a real assault on democratic institutions by some of those who want to implement a programme of centralisation and concentration of capital built on the exploitation and impoverishment of the Portuguese people and plunder of national resources.
It is not the Constitution, or the Portuguese forced to emigrate, who do not belong into the country. It is the government, the parliamentary majority that supports it and the Pact of Aggression who do not belong.
Whatever the manoeuvres or the developments underway to save the rightwing policy, nothing conceals the two essential issues that are placed before the country:
that this government, politically and irreparably defeated and socially isolated by the struggle of the workers and populations, despite clinging desperately to power, is already part of the past;
that in view of an outlaw government, majority and policy, in confrontation with the Constitution of the Republic, are imposing, in practice, a true state of exception, there is no other dignified and democratic way out than the dissolution of the Assembly of the Republic and calling early elections.
The position of the President of the Republic [Cavaco Silva] to try to bring together those who two years ago signed the socalled memorandum of understanding (PS/PSD/CDSPP) to thus ensure the implementation of the Pact of Aggression and the perpetuation of the policy that accompanies it shows a President committed to saving and perpetuating the rightwing policy.
The Political Committee of the Central Committee of the PCP denounces the blackmail, invoking bankruptcy and the risk of a second bailout allegedly linked to the political instability, aims to conceal that for a long time this same bailout, now christened precautionary programme, is being negotiated by the government in Brussels, hidden from the Portuguese. It is not the “political crisis” that will lead to a second bailout, but the implementation of this policy.
The President of the Republic by not immediately dismissing the government and not calling early elections assumes, under the present circumstances, the responsibility of each and every consequence resulting from the prolongation of this path to economic and social abyss.
3. It is unacceptable that, instead of his responsibility regarding his constitutional duties, the President of the Republic ambitions to promote and impose political promises contrary to the Constitution, on the margin of the regular functioning of the democratic institutions and leaving out political forces. An imposition which in itself reveals antidemocratic concepts that would mean denying the Portuguese the right to choose a different course and a policy able to free the country from the colonised condition they want to place it in and ensure a better life in a Portugal with future.
The alleged “compromise” proposed by Cavaco Silva that PS, PSD and CDS reveal they are available to implement, aims, not to save the country, but rather to create the conditions to ensure that the next State Budget will continue the theft of wages and pensions, more and devastating cuts in the rights of the Portuguese to health and education, of new attacks on social security and social benefits in unemployment and sick leave, of more redundancies in public administration, more privatisation of strategic sectors and companies.
A compromise that is not of national salvation but rather of continuation of national destruction. A compromise between those responsible for the state the country has come to, to thus ensure a wider base of support to the Pact of Aggression and the programme of exploitation and liquidation of rights which will only bring more economic decline, social regression and national submission
The necessary compromise of national salvation is around the interests and rights of the workers, the people and country, of the Constitution of the Republic and the values it embodies.
The urgency of a rupture with the rightwing policy and a change in national life that can open the way for the construction of an alternative, patriotic and leftwing policy is a national imperative, a condition to ensure Portugal with a future, of social justice and progress, a sovereign and independent country. A policy that is able to free Portugal from dependence and submission, to hand back to the country that which belongs to the country, return to the workers and people their rights, wages and incomes.
A policy which is based on six fundamental options:
first, the rejection of the Pact of Aggression and renegotiation of the debt in its amounts, interest, payment terms and conditions, rejecting its illegitimate part, with an immediate acceptance of a negotiated or unilateral moratorium and a cut in the debt service to a level compatible with economic growth and improvement of the living conditions;
second, the defence and increase of national production, recovery to the State of the financial sector and other strategic companies and sectors, essential to support the economy, increase public investment and encourage domestic demand;
third, real valorisation of wages and pensions and a clear commitment to reinstate the stolen wages, incomes and rights, including social benefits;
fourth, the option for a budgetary policy of combat against overspending, sumptuary expenses, based on a fiscal component of increased taxation on dividends and profits of big business and relief on workers and small and mediumsized companies, ensuring the necessary funds for an efficient functioning of the State and public investment;
fifth, a policy of defence and restoration of public services, namely the social functions of the State (like health, education and social security) strengthening human and material means, as an essential factor for the materialisation of the rights of the people and development of the country;
sixth, the assumption of a sovereign policy and the affirmation of the primacy of national interests in the relations with the European Union, diversifying economic and financial relations and adopting measures to prepare the country in case of leaving the Euro, either by decision of the Portuguese people, or the heightening of the crisis of the European Union.
1. While saluting all those who, during the past two years, did not waver in the struggle against the course of national disaster and demanded another course, the PCP reaffirms that it lies increasingly in the hands of the workers and the people the possibility to ensure a different course for the country. Stressing the decisive role of the struggle and its intensification, the Political Committee of the Central Committee of the PCP calls on the workers and populations, hit by the destruction of public services and social functions, to join the important struggle actions already set, namely by the Public Administration trade union structures and User Committees, for this coming July 24 near the Assembly of the Republic.
- The PCP will vote in favour of the motion of censure to the government, its policy and the majority that supports it, presented by the Ecologist Party “The Greens”. It is a parliamentary and political initiative that voices the widespread popular opposition to the PSD/CDS government, reflecting the unavoidable demand for its resignation and calling of early elections.
- In view of the demanding political situation and its developments, the PCP addresses the social forces, the political parties and forces and democrats who, guided by the respect for the constitutional principles and values, have as aims the dismissal of the government, early elections and rejection of the Pact of Aggression. Hence, the PCP addresses invitations to shortly hold meetings with social organisations, like the PEV [Ecologist Party “The Greens”], the Left Bloc and Democratic Intervention. The PCP will also promote a series of contacts, meetings with personalities committed to the affirmation of a developed and sovereign Portugal.
- The PCP is not, nor will be, available to be an instrument or accomplice of policies that maintain the structuring guidelines of the rightwing policy. A force that embodies a clear project of change, the PCP asserts in its actions and political initiatives, as a crucial factor for the construction of a patriotic and leftwing policy and assumes to the workers and people its willingness and capability to exercise the highest responsibilities they assign to it.
The Political Committee of the Central Committee of the PCP calls for the mobilisation and involvement of its militants and CDU activists to carry out a broad campaign to explain the importance of strengthening CDU to defend popular interests, to solve their problems and affirm an alternative policy. Widely recognised for its work, honesty and competence – themselves values of added importance when there is widespread lack of political ethics, disregard for assumed pledges and promises and the use of power for strictly personal benefit or economic interests – CDU asserts itself as a broad space of united convergence, democratic intervention, struggle and commitment and dedication to the interests and aspirations of the workers and people.
There will be no shortage of manoeuvres to try to perpetuate, with Passos Coelho [Prime Minister and PSD’s leader] and Portas [Foreign Affairs Minister and CDSPP leader] or without them, with the present or other promoters of rightwing policies, with or without elections, the same policy of exploitation of workers. But, sooner or later, the Portuguese people will speak louder, will take into their hands the construction of a policy that will answer their interests and rights, inseparable from the widening and strengthening of the mass struggle, with all the expression it may come to assume in the rupture with the rightwing policy and the construction of a patriotic and leftwing alternative.
July 15, 2013