The PCP affirms : «An alternative is not only possible but feasible»

Portugese Communist Party

Témoignages.re / 25 September 2012

The Central Committee Portugese Communist Party (PCP), in its meeting saturday and sunday, continued the preparation work of the XIX Congress of the PCP, and analysed the evolution of the political, economic and social situation of the country and defined the main tasks of the Party aimed at boosting its political initiative and strengthening its organisation.

Regarding the XIX Congress of the PCP, the Central Committee adopted the Draft of the Amendments to the Party’s Programme and the Draft of the Theses/Political Resolution, documents that will be published with the September 27 edition of the “Avante!”, central organ of the PCP, opening the 3rd preparatory phase of the Congress.

A Congress that – from the assessment it will make of the international situation, the evaluation of capitalism’s devastating consequences on humanity, the crusade of exploitation and social and civilizational regression that traverses the world and also the European Union with the process of capitalist integration – affirms socialism as the indispensable alternative to ensure to the workers and the peoples a society free from exploitation.

A Congress where, from its realisation and what it will mean in terms of PCP’s affirmation, the workers and the people will find an answer not only to their concerns, but specially a confident affirmation that there is a different course and a different policy. A Congress that points a way that can fulfil the hope of millions of Portuguese for a better life – and which holds in the project, of the Party’s Programme, now being updated, of an “Advanced Democracy – the values of April in the future of Portugal”, as an integral and constitutive part of the struggle for socialism, a real possibility of materialisation.

A path that is urgent to materialise, when we see the country facing an unbearable deterioration of the economic and social situation, with an increasingly worrying and prolonged economic recession, unemployment, galloping impoverishment of the population and a brutal worsening of the exploitation of labour that are rapidly driving Portugal into disaster.

As the draft of the Theses stresses “The national crisis is, undoubtedly, an intrinsic expression to the development of the relations of capitalist production dominantly imposed on the country, inseparable from the action of successive PS, PSD and CDS governments”. A crisis that the main promoters of the right-wing policy invoke, with the materialisation of the Pact of Aggression, to lead to an unprecedented heightening of their offensive against the rights of the workers and the people, of compromising the future of the country and its submission to the interests of big business, national and foreign.

The PCP alerts to the manoeuvres the government has underway

Aware of the devastating effects of its policy that not only did not solve any of the country’s major problems, but made them worse, including those they claimed they would solve – the debt and public deficit -, the PSD/CDS-PP government, showing a clear contempt of the already painful living conditions of the Portuguese, has been announcing new measures, which represent a brutal escalation of attack on the incomes of labour and their rights.

Measures that mean new and more substantial cuts in the wages and pensions of the workers of the public and private sector and a higher tax burden on labour; new dismissals and further attack on the rights of the public administration workers; new cuts in unemployment benefits, in social integration income and pensions above 1500 euros and more drastic cuts in the areas of health and education.

Measures to be included in the next Government Budget, which if materialised will drastically reduce the income available to the families, further narrow domestic market, launching thousands of companies into bankruptcy, and increase unemployment and misery,

Measures announced under the cover of a mystifying operation of equitable distribution of sacrifices between labour and capital, but end up by being yet another repulsive cynical farce, where few and merely symbolic measures of tax increase on income from capital, contrast with a brutal extortion of the popular classes and strata.

The PCP alerts to the manoeuvres the government has underway, and to which the Council of the State has given its blessing, which by falling back on the Social Security Tax, aim to maintain the goal of an assault on the wages and incomes of the workers and pensioners and continue the path of the country’s decline and regression.

The active and meaningful collaboration of the PS in the manoeuvre undertaken by the government during these past days of replacing the theft of the SST, by another theft of equal meaning to the workers and the people clearly shows the level of commitment and complicity among the underwriters of the Pact of Aggression and objectively reflects an incentive to continue with the implementation of this Pact and the continuation of the policy of national disaster.

In a context where the growing contradictions within the government become visible , inseparable from the deep erosion of its social base of support – particularly with CDS undertaking cynical manoeuvres of distancing and the PS, trying to conceal its heavy responsibilities in the situation we are in, the PCP reaffirms that it is not enough to reject this or that measure of the Pact of Aggression, it is not enough to change this or that minister, repeating manoeuvres of previous governments to save the right-wing policy.

What the situation of the country demands is the urgent rejection of the Pact of Aggression, the rupture with the right-wing policy, a profound change in national life which, with a new government, will assume a patriotic and left-wing policy to answer the aspirations of the workers and the Portuguese people.

As reality shows while the implementation of the Pact of Aggression proceeds, it is clearer that in order to satisfy the interests of big business the government is setting the country under fire and sword.

The scale and violence of the offensive that is underway has aroused a fighting and powerful answer from the workers and popular masses. An answer of struggle that, in these past two months, has been very strong in hundreds of companies against the use by the employers of the changes in labour legislation and a significant expression in the mobilisations around the country on September 15.

It should be stressed that this new phase of the offensive should be met with a new and stronger dynamics of resistance and struggle, where it is indispensable that the outrage and revolt that are becoming widespread should be transformed into an organised and consequent struggle.

«National Day of Struggle» and «March against Unemployment»

Hence, the PCP calls for the development of the struggle in its various forms and in particular the action decided by CGTP-IN «Everybody to Lisbon, everybody to Terreiro do Paço [Square] » on September 29, building a powerful show of strength and confidence of the workers and Portuguese people, and similarly on the «National Day of Struggle», set for October 1st, and the October 5-13 «March against Unemployment».

Actions that are part of a wide process that will continue and will go as far as needed to impose a defeat of this policy and open a new path for Portugal.

The PCP draws attention to the continuation and intensification of the policy of submission of the national interests to the process of the capitalist integration of the European Union.

The insistence on the so-called policies of austerity, the strengthening of supranational mechanisms of decision, the defence of a single currency tailored to the interests of big business, specially German, the imposition of unacceptable ceilings on deficit and debt, is deepening the general framework of stagnation and economic recession, alongside a massive increase in unemployment.

Affirming the demand for a rupture with the policies

On this issue, the Party’s Programme, now updated and under discussion, taking into account the increasing constraints and limitations on national independence and the limits it sets on its sovereign development, reaffirms and strengthens the idea that the “Portuguese people has and should always have the full right to decide on their own fate and choose the paths it believes is more in line with its historical identity and its interests and aspirations”.

In the situation we have reached, the solution is not found in repeating the worn-out talk on the so- called “political stability”, nor with appeals for “consensus” and the continuation of the programme of foreign interference, as the Council of State did this weekend, but by affirming the demand for a rupture with the policies which, in the name of stability, promote the most violent social and economic instability since the times of fascism.

A rupture that does not mean a reformulation of the Pact of Aggression, but involves the unequivocal and global rejection of the programme of economic and social destruction underway.

A rupture that assumes an alternative policy and puts an end to decades of right-wing policies by successive governments.

Urgent renegotiation of the public debt

The country needs a patriotic and left-wing policy that undertakes an urgent renegotiation of the public debt; decisively bets on national production, improves the living conditions of the Portuguese, raising wages, pensions and retirement pay; ensures a real fiscal justice; recovers the control of the strategic sectors of the economy, namely by nationalizing the banks, and placing them at the service of development and progress; fights exploitation, restores and defends the rights of the workers and guarantees quality public services accessible to the entire population.

In one of the most complex moments of our country’s recent history, when so many doubts and worries on the collective future of the country have arisen among the workers and the people, the PCP affirms with full confidence that there is an alternative to this course of disaster. An alternative is not only possible but feasible, not only necessary but also indispensable and urgent. An alternative that is in the hands of each and all who do not resign to those who want to deny them the future to which they are entitled, build with their struggle and also their support to the PCP.

It is time to put an end to this path of disaster. There is enough strength in the workers and the people to defeat this government and this policy. A defeat which has also to be the defeat of the Pact of Aggression, the defeat of the parties of the Troika who support and encourage the foreign Troika within the country, the defeat of the cosmetic manoeuvres that aim to seek an alternance between the parties that have brought the country up to here, false solutions to perpetuate exploitation and injustice.

At this moment when we are planning our XIX Congress we affirm: You can rely on the PCP, an indispensable Party for the solution of the national problems, ready and able to assume all the possibilities the people want to give it.

Paul Vergès par Gilles Bojan


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