XXth PCP Congress

Theses - Draft Political Resolution (Excerpts)

Theses - Draft Political Resolution (Excerpts)
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Adopted at the meeting of the Central Committee on September 17 and 18, 2016

The Theses – Draft Political Resolution adopted at the Central Committee meeting of 17 and 18 September, for discussion in the Party organisations, are an important contribution for a collective reflection on the international and national situation, to assess the struggle of the workers and Portuguese people, on the Party, its action and intervention, and to deepen the knowledge of the reality in which it operates and thus better assess the main guidelines and tasks for strengthening the party organisation, intervention and initiative.

Not being not a closed document, its enrichment and improvement requires the commitment of every member of the Party, both with their participation in the collective discussion, as well as with their individual contribution.

The responsibilities that our Party is called to discharge in the current situation for the materialisation of its Programme - the defence of the interests of the workers and the people, to break with the right-wing policy and for the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing alternative, the advanced democracy with the April values in the future of Portugal, socialism and communism - require the commitment and dedication of all with their knowledge, experience and capabilities, reaffirming the Party's democratic life, thus contributing for the result of the XX Congress to be the will of our great party collective.

Chapter I
International situation

1.1. The crisis of capitalism

1.1.1. The assessment produced by the XIXth Congress about the developments of the capitalist system and the deepening of its structural crisis remains as relevant as ever, in a context that confirms the exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature of capitalism.

1.1.2. The following developments reflect the dangerous heightening of capitalism's most negative traits: an unheard-of centralization and concentration of capital and wealth; a brutal onslaught to step up exploitation and jeopardize social rights; the rule of financial and speculative capital over the economy; the attack on liberties and democratic rights; widespread interferences and the use of blackmail; the concentration of power in supra-national institutions; direct appropriation of riches and raw materials; militarism and aggressions against sovereign states; the dangers of a war of immeasurable proportions; the violations of the UN Charter and of international law.

The world faces a cyclical crisis that broke out in 2007/2008 and is the most serious and prolonged one since the Great Depression of 1929. This crisis cannot be dissociated from its underlying reality, the structural crisis of capitalism.

It is a global crisis that affects the whole planet. Contrary to the claims of the propagandists of the dominant class, the roots of the problem are to be found in the imperialist centre.

1.1.3. The three poles of the Triad (USA, Japan, European Union) and, more generally, the most advanced capitalist countries, face stagnation or feeble economic growth. Macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, productive investment and employment, haven't as yet recovered their 2008 levels, despite attempts at reviving the economy through colossal cash injections, low or even negative interest rates and the falling price of hydrocarbons and namely of oil. Meanwhile, «toxic waste» continues to pile up in central banks' balance sheets as are various factors suggesting that a new and significant peak in the crisis could occur that could have once again its epicentre in the USA.

Japan has entered the second decade of economic stagnation and among Japanese big businesses there is once again a dangerous shift towards militarism.

The crisis in and of the European Union has witnessed new and serious developments in recent months that have openly called into question its own existence. The EU's inability to grow out of stagnation and to revive its economy; the growing internal contradictions of which the UK referendum is but one example; the influx of refugees and migrants and the dramatic circumstances associated with it; and people's growing discontent with the EU's anti-social policies and supra-national impositions are all factors worth mentioning. Relations between the European Union and the USA and NATO have become ever closer although this does not exclude rivalries and contradictions between partners.

The unease felt by supporters of the EU is a symptom of the seriousness of the current crisis. Meanwhile, the prevailing trend in EU circles continues to be «to forge ahead regardless», meaning neo-liberalism, militarism and federalism.

1.1.4. After a period during which China and other «emerging countries» could boast high GDP growth rates, such countries – and especially those that depend on the export of oil and other raw materials – were hit hard by the persistence of the cyclical crisis. The significant drop in the price of raw materials and foodstuffs has deeply affected countries in the periphery. The political manipulation of the «oil weapon», whose price it at a historic low, has had a serious social and political impact in producer countries as well as in others with which they have close economic ties.

China's economic weight and its participation in the international division of labour continues to be a prime factor in international developments. Its active role in international relations, in the context of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as well as in other fora, is at odds with the policies derived from the Breton Woods system which is dominated by the USA and other imperialist powers.

1.1.5. Energy and environmental issues have gained new traction in people's lives and in international relations. Because of their finite nature and importance, natural resources have become a key factor of economic, political and geostrategical disputes between major powers and are a pretext for attempts at world domination.

1.1.6. The social consequences of the processes of concentration and centralization of capital, of intensified exploitation and the increasingly aggressive nature imperialism have become more acute. Capitalism deepens social injustice and inequalities, including in the most advanced capitalist countries. Hundreds of millions of workers face unemployment and job insecurity. The inability to fulfil human beings' most basic needs, poverty, hunger, malnutrition, lack of access to healthcare, child labour, slave labour, trafficking of human beings, trade in human organs, sexual exploitation all expose the inhuman and criminal nature of capitalism.

The policies aimed at exploitation denying peoples' basic rights, of economic domination condemning numerous countries to underdevelopment and the wars fostered by imperialism are at the roots of the present migratory flows.

1.1.7. The depth of the structural crisis of capitalism is reflected in the obvious inability of the ruling class to find solutions that will revive its own economic growth in a sustained way. The classical «anti-cyclical» tools proposed by bourgeois economic theories have exhausted their usefulness. Cash injections and extremely low interest rates have generated excessive liquidity that is increasingly moving away from productive investments and into the realms of financial speculation and criminal money flows; offshore financial centres are an integral part of the operation of the capitalist system, where tax evasion is associated to money laundering of the profits from drug trafficking, arms deals, human trafficking and the funding of terrorism. In the wake of the development of IT and its impact, «technological shocks», new industrial processes and new «value chains» are being sought to take capitalist economies out of their current stagnation.

However, the measures being adopted are determined by big businesses engaged in financial speculation and do not address the root causes of the crisis. As such, they only serve to prolong it and to make the next peak of the crisis more violent.

The notion that it is necessary to destroy productive forces considered to be «in excess» – a process that is already under way, resulting in high rates of unemployment and the spectacle of death and destruction caused by wars – has led imperialism's most reactionary and aggressive sectors to bet increasingly on wars as the «way out» of the crisis and to recover higher profit rates.

1.1.8. In the face of uncertain developments, the characterization of capitalism's current phase is decisive to advance the struggle for liberation of workers and peoples. It is essential that attention be paid to events and processes that could have a major impact in the inter-relations between forces on the world stage.

The USA remain the capitalist world's hegemon and the planet's most powerful state. It would be dangerous to underestimate its huge economic, scientific, technological, military and ideological potential. Most large transnational corporations are US-based. But the US are witnessing a decline of its relative weight and are trying to counter it by imposing its dominance in economic relations and by dangerously promoting an aggressive strategy aimed at subduing or destroying whoever resists them.

In the current context of a «war of currencies», the hegemonic role of the US dollar as reserve and universal trade currency is being increasingly questioned and there are growing demands for the existing system to be reformed.

The so-called free trade agreements, actively promoted by the USA and its key allies, are powerful tools for imperialist economic and political dominance. They create opportunities for the predatory activities of transnational corporations and the overpowering of national states. Examples include the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Pacific Alliance and the bilateral agreements that the USA are using to overcome the historic defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

1.1.9. A complex process of re-arrangement of forces on the world stage is under way with significant economic, political and geostrategic repercussions – with several countries asserting themselves and seeking to engage with one another in various ways, while opting to take a path to development outside imperialism's hegemonic frame of reference. These developments are worth following closely. Their outcome depends on the development of the struggles of the working class, workers and peoples for their rights and sovereignty and on the actions and coordination of the states opposing capitalism.

While the structural crisis of capitalism has deepened inter-imperialist contradictions – apparent in the intense competition for markets and «economic wars» in various sectors –, international developments show that big businesses and the major imperialist powers use fora such as the IMF, World Bank, OECD, G7, the Trilateral Commission, the Davos World Economic Forum or the Bilderberg meetings to elaborate their ideology and to coordinate their strategies with a view to imposing their policies of exploitation and national oppression.

1.1.10. In the liberal-bourgeois political systems that exist in practically all developed capitalist countries and namely in the European Union, the exploitative policies that have led to the suppression of social rights and have put constraints on freedoms and guarantees resulted in an electoral battering of the political parties most closely identified with the right-wing political system and its policies. The crisis of social-democratic parties is magnified as a result of their structural collaboration with reactionary parties, their caving-in to neo-liberal policies and their role as a mainstay of imperialism.

1.1.11. The crisis of capitalism and its developments confirm marxism-leninism's fundamental theses about the laws governing capitalism in its imperialist stage, which have become apparent in its most recent developments: the law about the trend towards decreasing rates of profit and the financialization of the economy, transferring capital to speculative activities and away from productive investments; the law about the relative and absolute impoverishment, with the adoption of policies aimed at reducing wages and income and at expanding a reserve army of available workforce; the law of uneven development, involving significant and unexpected changes in the relative ranks of capitalist powers and heightening inter-imperialist contradictions, at times played down and concealed by their class cooperation against the common foe – the working class, workers and peoples; the trend towards stagnation, reflected in a drop in GDP growth rates in major capitalist countries in recent decades; the heightening of the parasitic, decadent and criminal nature of capitalism, reflected in some of the inherent features of the system such as its military-industrial complex and the trail caused by imperialist aggressions, as well as the flourishing of criminal trafficking activities and the corruption that are part and parcel of the operation of the system.

The growing association with and dependence on big transnational business of big businesses in each and every country and the merging of the power of big transnational monopolies with political power in major imperialist states and the supra-national institutions that they have set up suggest new developments in states' monopolistic capitalism and the concrete ways in which it expresses itself in individual countries.

Capitalism's inability to overcome its own contradictions is reflected in the current crisis and its developments. First and foremost, in the contradiction between capital and labour and the continuing struggle around surplus value, a struggle that goes to the core of the capitalist mode of production, together with other struggles that are intensifying. The contradiction between the social nature of production and its private appropriation has never been so acute, and the concentration of capital on a gigantic scale and its merger with the state's apparatus, as well as anarchic production, confirm the need of a system that rationalizes the use of means and resources so that they may be put to the service of society rather that threatening it with annihilation. The contradiction between the vast possibilities created by science and technology to address mankind's most serious problems and the worsening of such problems as a result of the appropriation of scientific and technological developments by big business. These contradictions coincide with a diminishing social base that supports capitalism, due to the monopolistic concentration and the intensified exploitation of anti-monopoly classes and social groups.

This evidence shows that objective conditions are being created on a global scale for overcoming capitalism in a revolutionary manner and for transitioning, by different paths , phases and stages, to a higher economic and social formation – to socialism and communism.

1.2. The imperialist onslaught

1.2.1. In an international context that is characterized by the heightening of capitalism's structural crisis and by a complex and contradictory process of re-arrangement of forces on the world stage, imperialism intensifies its violent and multi-faceted onslaught that is increasingly opposed by workers and peoples who resist and fight to defend their rights and sovereignty.

This is a scenario that increases the danger of imperialism's most reactionary and aggressive sectors opting for war and fascism.

Imperialism, and in particular US imperialism, uses various forms and means – political, diplomatic, economic, financial, monetary, military and ideological – in an attempt to counteract its relative economic decline and to impose its hegemony across the world.

Its ultimate ambition is to enhance the free circulation of capital; to force markets to open up to big business and the arbitrary power of transnational corporations; to secure its control of markets, trade and energy routes; to take over natural resources; to intensify exploitation; to secure regions of economic and political dominance; to secure the control of technologies and technological developments, namely in areas such as energy, environment, healthcare, communications and information; to prevent processes of sovereign, progressive and revolutionary assertion; to impose and secure its geo-strategic dominance.

Imperialism's onslaught continues to be focused on regions that have a wealth of natural resources, raw materials and energy routes, as well as on regions that are key from a geo-strategic viewpoint, such as those where markets are being developed and with emerging economic and trade relations.

This is an onslaught that influences and makes use of many international organisations and diplomatic relations. In some instances, it takes the form of an economic war with the imposition of economic and financial sanctions and blockades against countries willing to assert and defend their sovereignty.

1.2.2. Imperialism's warmongering and interventionism – which affect practically all continents – raise serious concerns for they entail the risk of an escalation and the generalization of military conflicts on the world stage on an unpredictable scale and with unpredictable consequences.

The USA, NATO and the European Union, together with their allies, are responsible for all the major military conflicts currently taking place.

NATO continues to be and to strengthen its role as the most important and dangerous tool for imperialism's aggression. This takes place under the hegemony of USA, although the inter-imperialist contradictions are likely become more acute as the crisis worsens. At its summits in Wales (2014) and Warsaw (2016), NATO once again openly asserted its aggressive nature and strengthen the role of the European Union as its European pillar. NATO's major powers, and in particular the USA, are responsible for a race for more powerful and sophisticated weapons, the modernization of nuclear arsenals and a vast network of foreign military bases across the world. In this context, the installation of the USA's anti-missile system is particularly worrisome, as it represents a serious threat to the world's strategic nuclear balance.

The wars of aggression in the Middle East; the destabilization in Latin America; the processes aimed at destabilizing and re-colonizing Africa; NATO's push into Eastern Europe targeting the Russian Federation; or the growing militarization of Asia and the Pacific targeting China are examples of imperialism's escalating confrontation.

In Latin America, imperialism has engaged in a counter-offensive supported by national oligarchies. Its aim is to destabilize and revert the significant democratic, progressive and anti-imperialist processes and movements towards cooperation and integration that have been taking place in the sub-continent. This counter-offensive has targeted in particular the countries that are part of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Cooperation Treaty Between the Peoples (ALBA) – such as Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua or Venezuela. It also targets other countries seeking to assert their sovereignty such a Brazil, with its relevant role in Latin America and on the international stage, namely in the context of the BRICS countries.

1.2.3. The imperialist onslaught seeks to oppose and even prevent the exercise of sovereignty by national states, and in particular by those states that while defending their sovereignty and independence somehow represent a factor of containment of imperialism's hegemony and, in particular, of the US's hegemonic power.

Thus, imperialism promotes a range of destabilizing operations and all kinds of coups, imposing specific regimes, engaging in military aggressions and territorial occupations, promoting the fragmentation and balkanization of states, establishing protectorates and defining supra-national power structures that take away sovereignty from formally independent states.

Such interferences usually take place by manipulating and distorting what were originally genuine expressions of popular discontent. These are accompanied by comprehensive and systematic media campaigns aimed at concealing the real objectives and consequences of such aggressive actions, thus making it harder to denounce and condemn them and to express anti-imperialist solidarity.

«Human rights», «the responsability to protect», «defending democracy», «war on terror», «the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction», «humanitarian intervention», «fighting corruption», «preventive war» or «failed State» are arguments that have been variously used to justify imperialism's illegal and criminal actions aimed at preventing peoples from deciding on their own destiny.

The interferences and aggressions by the USA and its allies against the sovereignty of peoples, whether to secure their control over resources or to remove governments that do not toe their line, have been preceded by massive and prolonged operations aimed at preparing public opinion for what is to come. Various pretexts are used to create an environment where they are accepted uncritically and even perceived as justifiable.

The fact that the basic needs of millions of human beings are not being met and the destruction of sovereign states are proof of the toll of imperialism's destabilization actions and aggressions. The dramatic circumstances of displaced persons and refugees, such as those coming from the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa seeking refuge from the death and devastation caused by imperialism's warmongering and looting, as well as the policies and measures that deny them their most basic rights, are a shocking expression of capitalism's true nature.

Imperialism's interferences and aggressions involve, inter alia, the adoption and imposition of a range of external measures of a political, diplomatic, legal, financial or economic nature that often fly in the face of international law; the use of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), foundations and other structures; or the support to and promotion of internal reactionary forces, including of a fascist nature, and their violent and terrorist actions – of which the Ukraine is an example.

In its onslaught, imperialism is increasingly making use of terrorism, whether State terrorism with its aggressive direct interventions, or by means of creating, supporting and manipulating groups characterized by their criminal actions and use of terror. Addressing terrorism means fighting its causes – political, economic and social –, as well as the interferences and aggressions that feed them, and at the same time asserting the values of freedom, democracy, sovereignty and independence of states and peace.

To provide a cover to its strategy of aggression and domination, imperialist powers seek to control and manipulate the UN, in a process that runs against the UN Charter and aims at perverting and destroying international law, turning the UN and its bodies and agencies into a submissive structure that endorses their interests and strategies or even becomes an accomplice to its aggressions and wars – as is the case of the illegitimate International Criminal Court.

1.2.4. Big business and the political forces that defend its interest seek to adopt and impose anti-democratic measures aimed at restraining, repressing and even criminalizing social struggles; constraining the activities of trade unions; setting limits to political activities; restricting fundamental rights and freedoms; promoting the institutionalization of anti-communism and anti-sovietism; persecuting and illegalising communist parties and other revolutionary, progressive and democratic forces; militarizing internal security and increasingly controlling, intruding and monitoring citizens' privacy; encircling, boycotting and destabilizing countries that have asserted their sovereignty and opted for alternative, democratic, progressive and revolutionary policies; intensifying, extending and trivializing interferences, blackmail and the imposition of government and political solutions against the will of peoples; imposing international treaties and the power of supra-national institutions over the will of sovereign states and the legitimate interest of their peoples.

The policies aimed at intensifying exploitation and impoverishment; at promoting casual labour and unemployment; of oppression and in particular national oppression; and at stigmatizing migrants have created a breeding ground for the dissemination of xenophobic and racist ideologies by extreme right-wing forces and fascist groups.

1.2.5. As the class struggle intensifies, so does the ideological onslaught in various domains in an attempt to hide the true nature of capitalism and the alternative of social emancipation represented by the communist ideal and project.

Against such backdrop, obscurantism and narrow-mindedness, anti-democratic and reactionary, racist and xenophobic values are promoted; charity and paternalistic social handouts become institutionalized; religions and mysticism are manipulated and religious fundamentalism and sectarian and confessional disputes are fostered.

The worldwide network of international communication companies, whose ownership is increasingly concentrated in large «information» oligopolies, as well as education systems, play a key role in supporting imperialism's ideological onslaught.

1.3. The struggle of the workers and peoples

1.3.1. The deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism and the offensive of imperialism provoke serious collisions around the issues of class, development, the national question and the correlation of forces in the world.

The current framework is marked by a sharp exacerbation of the class struggle in which the vectors of class and nation are strongly interconnected.

Albeit varied trends, where retreats of progressive forces coexist with progressive advances, in which danger coexists with potential, the resulting worker’s and people’s struggle is characterized overall by an ongoing and tenacious resistance that acquires great importance and centrality.

1.3.2. Hundreds of millions of workers develop a wide, diversified and organized struggle in defense of fundamental rights such as the right to work; a decent wage; for better working conditions; against the increase in working hours; in defense of labor and trade union rights; for social rights and in defense of the social functions of the State, in particular for decent retirement pensions, among others

The struggle of the working class and of workers is the most important factor of resistance, demand and advancement, contributing decisively to the convergence of other classes and anti-monopolist sectors.

A fight whose dimension has even more meaning in the context of a deep ideological offensive, an increasing repressive action, political persecution and attempts of criminalization, which affects particularly the class trade union movement.

1.3.3. The struggle of other classes and anti-monopolist sectors develops. Their representative organizations, content and objectives of struggle acquire very different forms. This is the case of farmers, who have been the protagonists of important actions to fight in every continent for the defense of the right to possess and use the land, against the liberalization of agricultural trade and the exploitative nature of agribusiness; of intellectuals and technical staff, sectors that are increasingly «proletarianized», subject to a higher degree of precariousness, who increasingly participate in the general struggle in defense of political, social, and cultural rights; of the youth, on the right to work and against insecurity, for the defense of public education systems, in defense of peace and the access to culture; of women in the fight against all forms of exploitation and discrimination, for sexual and reproductive rights and against the traffic of human beings.

1.3.4. The fight against the privatization of strategic sectors and in defense of public services exhibits a very wide participation in all continents. The fight against the liberalization of world trade and the signing of free trade agreements, and for the preservation and sustainable use of natural and environmental resources, particularly for the right to access to water, encompasses an intense ideological confrontation.

1.3.5. There are important moments of convergence in the struggle for peace, against militarism, NATO, imperialist encroachments and wars, and of solidarity with peoples in struggle, in defense of the principles of the UN Charter and International Law, which acquire an increasing importance and centrality.

1.3.6. The fight in defense of democracy, freedom and against fascism in the face of the emergence of right-wing forces and fascists places a need for wider democratic convergence.

1.3.7. The so-called Social Forum movement (World Social Forum and its several levels) has lost weight in the context of the struggles carried out around the world. The thesis is still valid, that the forums and «inorganic» movements, expressing the narrowing of the base social support of capitalism, are traversed by an intense ideological struggle and that, by themselves, are not able to raise the bar of criticism and revolt towards higher levels of struggle.

1.3.8. The struggle of peoples against imperialism and its aggressive strategy of recolonization, in defense of the right to development, sovereignty and national independence, acquires great importance and centrality.

1.3.9. In Latin America, the progressive processes, affirming sovereignty and anti-imperialism, potentiate and are simultaneously strengthened, by mechanisms for cooperation and integration that have assumed a great importance for the region and the world. Such processes have enabled great advances in the social condition of labor and popular masses, in the ideological struggle, in the process of rearrangement of forces worldwide and on South-South economic cooperation and in the context of BRICS. The victory of Cuba against the attempts of international isolation of the Cuban revolution is inseparable from this reality.

These processes are today faced with a vast operation that combines the Latin American big capital (submitted to transnational big capital); the right-wing and extreme right-wing revanchist forces and US and European imperialism. Lining up in time this offensive with the impacts of the crisis of capitalism in economies like that of Brazil or Venezuela, these forces have used the instruments that maintained – the economic and judicial power, the media – to attempt to, in conjunction with the imperialist centers, reverse these processes, like in Honduras and Paraguay, as they aim in Brazil following the institutional coup, or in Venezuela, through the political destabilization and economic sabotage. Countries like Bolivia or Ecuador are subject to similar processes. The theory of «end of cycle» in Latin America is an ideological pressure that seeks to contain the struggle for emancipation fought in that region, and to propagate conformism and the idea of its defeat.

Regardless of the setbacks in the development of processes in Latin America, the advances achieved represent important and undeniable affirmations of sovereignty; advances in the direction of improving the living conditions of workers and peoples; and progressive options regarding the paths towards development and transformation, which constitute a contribution to the more general struggle of peoples towards their emancipation, for more justice and social progress.

1.3.10. The peoples of the Arab countries and the Middle East continue hard fights for their national, political and social rights.

Plunged into a spiral of imperialist violence, peoples and some States in the region resist the powerful actions of destabilization and war. Terrorism, fed by the main imperialist powers, by Turkey and by the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, is used against the countries targeted by imperialist intervention. Libya, victim of an imperialist aggression five years ago, continues mired in chaos, just like Iraq. Syria continues its struggle in defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Major resistance movements continue, such as the case of the Yemeni people's resistance to aggression from Saudi Arabia, the people of Bahrain for democracy and human rights, of the Lebanese people in defense of their territorial integrity and independence and against the corruption of the confessional regime, among others. The Palestinian people pursue their heroic struggle against the Israeli occupation under difficult conditions, for the right to build an independent and viable State of Palestine, and against the scandalous impunity of Israel’s State terrorism and crimes. The signing of the nuclear agreement regarding Iran and Russia's support to the resistance of the Syrian State against aggression are two factors which hinder the objectives of imperialism in the region.

1.3.11. In Africa, important worker’s struggles develop in very diverse areas and with very meaningful expressions. The peoples and African States face major challenges in the fight against the manoeuvrers of interference and destabilization and against foreign military presence. The fight of the Sahrawi people for self-determination, independence and sovereign right over its territory continues.

1.3.12. The main imperialist centers developed struggles or explosions of revolt around its most visible contradictions. This was the case of the US with important days of struggle in defense of the right to employment, against inequality and racial discrimination.

In Europe, workers and people have developed important struggles, of resistance to attacks upon social rights and wages, against the imposition of so-called «austerity packages», against external encroachment and pressure, in defense of democratic rights, the right to employment and labor rights.

The increasing and broader challenge of capitalist integration process of the European Union represents advances in the struggle for a Europe of cooperation and of sovereign States equal in rights, progress and peace.

In this sense, and within the framework of cooperation in the European continent – an aim to achieve on the basis of an effort that must be common and not imposed or unilateral –, at institutional level, the PCP has committed to the constitution of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), in order to safeguard its confederal nature, its own identity and its independence in relation to other forum or structures of cooperation.

1.3.13. The situation calls for the strengthening of the struggle and the convergence of the working class with other anti-monopolist sectors. There is a need for greater cooperation and coordination of the anti-imperialist forces, particularly in joint or convergent actions of struggle and in strengthening the solidarity with peoples in struggle, especially with those on the front line of resistance to the offensive of imperialism. A need that is not compatible with ambiguities or errors in the definition of the main enemy, and that must be based on an appropriate evaluation and determination of the common or convergent objectives of the struggle.

In the framework of dialectical relationship between their national and international planes, the challenges presented in the struggle against imperialism make the national arena the central and decisive terrain of the class struggle and social transformation. But the situation requires that, starting from the national space, we strengthen the bonds of solidarity and struggle that should unite the Communists.

The «escape» towards supranational solutions and movements, not sustained by concrete processes of struggle at the national level, as reality has proven, led to the imposition of «models» and «recipes», to inconclusive drifts with a reformist or voluntarist nature, that lead to divisions and distortion of movements, forces and processes.

1.3.14. The anti-imperialist Front, which objectively widens as a function of the intensification of the offensive of imperialism and the growing confrontation between countries and peoples with its aim of hegemonic domination, is traversed by contradictions and ambiguities that pose major challenges to the intervention of the Communist parties and their action to build social and political alliances and interconnections between the struggle for social emancipation and the national question.

In terms of the international articulation of the struggle, there is a special need to reinforce the international structures, such as the World Peace Council (WPC), the World Federation Democratic Youth (WFDY), Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF), the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR), ensuring their broad and anti-imperialist character.

1.3.15. The countries that claim as a guideline and objective the construction of socialist societies – China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam – in their vast diversity of situations regarding the degree of economic and social development and socio-political models, constitute an important factor of containment of imperialism’s objectives of world domination. Today it is even clearer that these countries are subject to a set of economic and financial pressures, to destabilization and encroachment, ideological offensive and geostrategic siege that, along with the effects of the crisis of capitalism to which they are not immune, condition its own development and economic policy options and international relations.

At the same time, and in a dialectic relationship between internal issues and external conditions, the countries that claim as a guideline and objective the construction of socialist societies face challenges and contradictions that in some cases give rise to legitimate concerns and doubts about their situation and evolution.

The PCP monitors the evolution of these countries and the guidelines of the respective Communist parties, both as regards its internal tasks, and their positioning in the international situation. Rejecting the idea of unique models of social transformation and affirming its own project to build a socialist society in Portugal, PCP finds that the evolution of these countries should continue to deserve permanent and careful observation and analysis, both in their experiences and accomplishments, and in the questions and disagreements, some of principle, raised by certain guidelines in some of these countries, regardless of their particularities, path and history, in particular regarding guidelines that distance themselves from principles and features of building socialist societies, whether in terms of economic organization, whether in terms of political system.

The struggle and the resistance of the peoples of these countries against the offensive of imperialism demand not our association with campaigns aimed towards destabilization and aggression, but of the solidarity from all those who defend sovereignty and peace.

1.3.16. The struggle of the workers and peoples exhibits weaknesses and shortcomings that should not be ignored in the definition of paths towards social emancipation. However, the popular, class and mass response to the deepening of all the contradictions of capitalism was and is the main element towards containing the offensive of big capital and imperialism. It was and is, by its experiences, victories, teachings and historical heritage, an important factor preventing even more serious developments of the international situation, not allowing the ruling classes to act freely. It was and is the factor that ensures the necessary build-up of forces for the construction of alternatives on the basis of convergence between the struggle of the working class with the other anti-monopolist sectors and the solidarity with the peoples and nations in struggle.

The recognition of the depth of the crisis of capitalism and of the need and timeliness of overcoming capitalism should not lead us to underestimate its material and ideological power and its capacity to resist adapt, revealed in its ability to contain and even neutralize and instrumentalize powerful movements of popular struggle, as well as reverse and defeat effective processes of progressive and revolutionary transformation.

1.3.17. A patriotic and internationalist party, PCP considers of utmost importance the strengthening, the unity and growth of the capacity for action of the international communist and revolutionary movement.

The international communist and revolutionary movement and the internationalist cooperation and solidarity will as strong as the strength of the connection of each Communist Party, of each revolutionary force, to the masses and its national reality, and as its ability to define its program and tasks.

Based on its experience of 95 years of struggle and the historical experience of the Communists and revolutionaries around the world, acting in accordance with the principle of proletarian internationalism, PCP is committed to strengthening mutual solidarity and cooperation between Communist parties, contributing to the deepening of the debate and in every moment valuing the contents and initiatives that promote unity in action.

In this sense, the PCP gives particular attention to the development of its bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation, as well as to its contribution to forms and processes of multilateral cooperation and of common and convergent action, aiming towards unity in action and affirming the Communist ideal and project.

1.3.18. At European level, PCP has acted in order to bring the Communist parties together and these nearer to other progressive and left-wing forces, taking into account differences of context, reflection and proposal and with respect for their independence, putting in the foreground the issues most felt by workers and peoples and the struggle against the imperialist bloc of the European Union and for a Europe of cooperation between sovereign States and equal in rights, of progress and peace, for a Europe of the workers and peoples.

Reality has confirmed the position of PCP on the Party of the European Left. In fact, this structure of supranational and reformist nature – that emanates from the EU decision to create «European political parties» – introduced new factors of division, estrangement and misunderstanding, and has hindered advances in the cooperation and solidarity between communists and progressive forces in Europe, which is reflected in other areas of cooperation, notably in the GUE/NGL in the European Parliament.

1.3.19. The PCP has devoted particular attention to the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP), having hosted its 15th meeting in Lisbon, in 2013. The IMCWP are a multilateral process, which regardless of inadequacies, difficulties and negative aspects that may arise – which PCP has committed to find solutions and overcome – have contributed to improve mutual knowledge and towards the adoption of a set of guidelines for common or convergent action among the participating parties.

1.3.20. PCP considers to be motives of concern both the development of liquidationist and social-democratic tendencies – of adaptation to the system, with the abandonment of ideological references, organic principles and strategic objectives characteristic of a Communist Party – as well as dogmatic and sectarian practices and conceptions – which point towards the introduction of single models of social transformation and initiatives to structure poles –, that not only do not contribute to the strengthening of the Communist movement and the unity in action of Communists, but also introduce new factors of division, estrangement and misunderstanding that hinder the necessary advances in internationalist solidarity among communists, and between these and other progressive and leftist forces.

Since our XIX Congress, together with positive elements of recovery of the influence of some parties, there has been greater expression of difficulties caused by negative attitudes and the abandonment of established principles of relationship between Communist parties – equal rights, independence, mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs, frankness and mutual solidarity –, visible in hegemonic postures, and in important differences in the analysis of the international situation and on the strategy and tactics in the struggle for socialism, which has hampered the frank and fraternal discussion of differences aimed at an approximation of positions and the examination of common problems, with damage to the unity and capacity to intervene of the international communist and revolutionary movement.

Aware of the complexity and demands of the current international situation and that Communist parties and other revolutionary forces have different trajectories, experiences and social roots, fight under different conditions, are at different stages of the struggle for socialism and face different immediate tasks, PCP finds that natural differences of opinion, and even any differences, should not prevent cooperation in the struggle against the common enemy, and common or convergent action towards the emancipation of workers and peoples.

1.3.21. Communists a have special responsibility and a unique heritage and experience in the construction of social and political alliances that can halt imperialist objectives at both national and international. The current international framework demonstrates the particular importance of the development of cooperation of Communist parties with other democratic, progressive and revolutionary forces, contributing – with the affirmation of their own objectives and without dilution of their identity – towards the exchange of experiences and unity in action aimed at the realization of immediate tasks and objectives in the struggle. In this sense, PCP is committed to internationalist solidarity with the political and social forces that, in their countries, are fighting in defense of the interests of workers and peoples and in the enlargement and increased expression of the anti-imperialist front, and follows forum of cooperation and solidarity, like the Forum of São Paulo, among other fora of cooperation of revolutionary and progressives forces from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The structural crisis of capitalism and the violent offensive of imperialism raise the need to strengthen cooperation and convergence of patriotic, progressive and revolutionary forces, into a broad anti-imperialist front to stop the offensive of imperialism and make way for the construction of a new international order, peace, sovereignty and social progress.

Reality demonstrates the need for a strong and vigorous revolutionary and communist international movement, the existence of strong communist and revolutionary parties that promote resistance and struggle of the workers and peoples in defense of their rights, for the advancement of social transformation and the revolutionary overcoming of capitalism.

1.4. Socialism, the alternative to capitalism

1.4.1. Contrary to what its ideologues intend, capitalism is not the final system in the history of mankind and the demand for an alternative, a society without exploiters nor exploited, a Socialist and Communist society, is inseparable from the very nature of capitalism and the need to overcomeits insoluble contradictions.

The extraordinary accentuation of the socialization of production (determined by the development of science and technology, by the internationalization of all spheres of social life and by the unprecedented centralization and concentration of capital), the increased contradiction between the social character of production and its private appropriation, mature the objective material conditions for a socialist revolution, regardless of the form it will take.

But the process of replacement of the capitalist socio-economic formation by socialism is not automatic. It requires the creation of subjective conditions, of a situation in which «the upper classes are unable and the lower classes not to want to live in the old way». This demands the creative intervention of the working class and the masses; a revolutionary vanguard capable of, in each country, leading the struggle for the conquest of power by the workers; the application of marxism-leninism, dialectical and materialist conception of the world, instrument of analysis and guide for action. Marx and Engels on the basis of dialectical and historical materialism and the concrete study of the capitalist society, unveiled the laws of motion of the capitalist system and theoretically substantiated the historical mission of the working class and the requirement of a Socialist Revolution as a condition for the freedom of the productive forces, whose development are hampered and destroyed by capitalist production relations. Practice has ultimately confirmed the necessity and possibility of the new society. With the October revolution, whose centenary we mark in 2017, and other revolutions throughout the 20th century, socialism was no longer a dream, aspiration, utopia, and ideal of human and social liberation, it became a concrete reality.

1.4.2. The conquest of power by the Russian proletariat, under the direction of the Bolshevik Party headed by Lenin, represents a giant leap forward in the process of liberation of the workers and peoples that inaugurates a new era in the history of mankind, the time of transition from capitalism to socialism. Breaking unprecedented paths of social construction and defeating the encroachment and aggression of imperialism, the Soviet Union won over prejudices and ancestral delays and became in a short historical period a major industrial power, of great political, social and cultural achievements that put into evidence the superiority of the new social system and exerted great power of attraction among workers and oppressed peoples all over the world. With its achievements and policy of peace and of internationalist solidarity, with its decisive role in the defeat of nazi-fascism, exerting a powerful counterweight to the exploitative and aggressive policy of imperialism, the USSR, and later the socialist countries, constituted the main factor of social achievements and extraordinary revolutionary advancements of the 20th century.

The disappearance of the Soviet Union and the defeats of socialism in Eastern Europe do not deny the need for the construction of a new society without exploiters or exploited, in which the extraordinary achievements and accomplishments of the human genius are no longer at the service of an increasingly reduced financial oligarchy and but rather placed at the service of people. There is no denying the negative impact these losses had within the framework of the correlation of global forces upon the consciousness of the masses and in development of the struggle for revolutionary overcoming of capitalism. But this fact does not change the fundamental content of our time, nor does it call into question the direction of historical development. On the contrary, more than ever, before the exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature of capitalism, socialism emerges with renewed timeliness as an objective need in the process of universal emancipation of workers and peoples. The objective of socialism in the struggle of peoples affirms itself with increasing accuracy as perspective and condition inseparable from complete human liberation and achievement.

The campaigns of the «death of communism» and «irreversible decline» of the Communist parties are confronted, in their credibility, by the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism and the evidence of its inability to provide answers to the great problems of mankind. But the campaigns continue, notably through massive operations of historic falsification that must be fought. The needed learning from experiences, both positive and negative, of the international communist movement rejects the negativity and hopelessness with which the ruling class seeks to demobilize from the struggle. This does not cancel the recognition that the development of revolutionary overcoming of capitalism is complex, irregular and uneven, with victories and defeats, setbacks and advances.

Experience shows that the paths to socialist revolution, being diversified and following differentiated stages from country to country, obey general laws, which practice has confirmed, regarding the importance of theory, the role of the working class and its alliances, the creative commitment of the masses in the construction of their own destiny, the issues of the State and the property of the main means of production, the leading role of the party. General laws but not «model», regarding the temptation to copy the experience of the October Revolution that which not having universal value corresponded only to the concrete Russian reality, as Lenin underlined: «all Nations will reach socialism, this is inevitable, but they will all arrive not in exactly the same way(...)».

1.4.3. The path to socialism and the basic features of socialist society in Portugal are inseparable of the peculiarities that mark its history, social reality and the international context of our country. Considering the rich experience of international communist movement, and seeking to learn from the historical experiences of construction of socialism, it is from the Portuguese reality and experience of the Portuguese Communists, that the PCP elaborated project of a socialist and communist society for Portugal, whose fundamental lines are systematized in its program «An advanced Democracy – the values of April in Portugal's future».

Chapter II
National situation

2.1. The right-wing policy and the situation of the country

2.1.1. Portugal shows a track of problems gathered over decades of a right-wing policy and capitalist integration in the EEC/EU that PS, PSD and CDS-PP carried out, worsened by the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pacts and the Pact of Aggression. A right-wing policy denounced and identified by the PCP as a capitalist, latifundiary and imperialist recovery, with clear class content at the service of big business and a regression of the April achievements. A policy that denotes the very nature, contradictions and structural crisis of capitalism, which is incapable of responding to national problems, and is, in itself, a factor of deepening national dependence.

Crisis, democratic impoverishment, economic decline, increased exploitation, social regression, cultural regression and environmental degradation, enhancement of the country’s peripheral and dependent nature, these are the traits that result from a process controlled by big business and big powers, which seriously threatens national sovereignty and independence, which undermines the present and the future of the country and which has to be stopped urgently.

2.1.2. The process of capitalist integration, linked with the counter-revolutionary process, led the country to a situation with the typical features of state monopoly capitalism, in a framework in which the Portuguese State is increasingly subordinated, dominated and peripheral within the scope of the European Union, and at large by imperialism and its structures.

2.1.3. Notwithstanding the importance and significance of the defeat of the PSD/CDS-PP government and the more immediate projects of big business that the struggle of the workers and populations and the decisive action of the PCP made possible in the elections of October 4, 2015, the reality of the country increasingly shows the need and urgency of a rupture with the right-wing policy. A rupture with the interests and domination of monopoly capital and rupture with the submission to the European Union and the Euro opening the way to an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy to resume the April values and affirm them in the future of Portugal.

2.2. 2.2. The evolution of the European Union

2.2.1. The worsening of the national situation is the result of four decades of right-wing policies and thirty years of integration in the EEC/EU, a process conducted in Portugal by PS, PSD and CDS.

The right-wing policy and submission to the European Union and the Euro influence and undermine the possibilities of a sovereign development of the country and submit its foreign and domestic policy to the strategy of the great European powers, the US and NATO.

Portugal is today a more peripheral, dependent and vulnerable country. Instead of the promised «economic and social cohesion”, what marks the evolution of the European Union are the huge and growing asymmetries of economic development, an accelerated concentration and centralisation of capital and the imposition of increased exploitation and social regression.

2.2.2. The period between the XIX and XX Congresses showed even more clearly EU's class nature: a process dictated by the interests and needs of big business in the imperialist stage of capitalism’s development, directed and designed as a tool and space of domination of big monopolies and European transnationals, oriented towards the concentration of power in the main capitalist powers of Europe and the supranational institutions dominated by them. In these four years, the pillars of neoliberalism and militarism were enhanced. Federalism became more pronounced, although in a context of increasing contradictions, as a process of concentration and centralisation of supranational political power, subservient and articulated with the major European multinationals, under the constant leadership of the organisations representing great European employers in the legislative process. The deepening of the concentration and centralisation of capital require the concentration and centralisation of political power. The action of the directory of powers, led by Germany, imposes and deepens relations of political and economic dominance of a colonial nature within the space of the European Union. Democracy and sovereignty are openly disregarded.

And thus the instruments of economic and political domination of the European Union were stepped up. The coming into effect of the Lisbon Treaty sparked a renewed process of concentration and centralisation of power. The «answer to the crisis”, preserving the interests of big business and the directory of powers, further accelerated this process, and the conditions were created to justify a securitarian and authoritarian drift at the "internal" level, and a militarist and interventionist drift at the "external" level.

The false and cynically called «financial assistance programmes» launched in this period were and are instruments to export to the "periphery" and to the workers and the peoples the consequences of the crisis, and to enforce violent measures of exploitation and pillage, both on labour, and on public resources, and to bind, through the debt mechanism, several States to a position of dependence and submission to EU strategy. But they are also true «trial balloons» of a new and more draconian political-institutional framework of domination within the space of the European Union.

2.2.3. The Euro is being confirmed as a political project of European big business. The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the Euro serve the objectives of the intensified exploitation and economic domination arising from the nature and evolution of the capitalist integration. The Euro, which was no «protective shield against the crisis”, is rather a major factor of the ongoing economic and financial crisis.

The problems and difficulties that the European Union and the Eurozone are facing stem from the very nature of the integration process, its political and ideological pillars, enshrined in the treaties, policies and actions. States plunged into processes of economic destruction; uncontrolled growth of public debt of countries to unbearable levels; permanent instability of the financial system; contraction in demand and industrial production; de-industrialisation in many countries of the so called «periphery”; deep social crisis, well expressed in the record 130 million poor and about 30 million unemployed; economic stagnation and a trend of deflation; gathering of signs of a new peak of crisis associated with the speculative dynamic that is growing - are evidence of the deep crisis of the Euro that could lead to reconfiguration scenarios in Eurozone, or even to its implosion. The so-called Euro crisis shattered the illusion of the European Union as a space of convergence and cohesion, and showed, with special violence, the dynamics of difference and inequality that intrinsically characterizes it. The Economic and Monetary Union led to the deterioration of the living conditions and of work, as well as the destruction of weaker production systems and stressed the de-industrialisation of countries like Portugal.

It was and is in the name of the Euro and the compliance of its criteria that the privatisation of companies and strategic sectors was accelerated and enhanced, which strongly hit public services and the social functions of the State. The Euro has exacerbated inequalities between countries and within each country.

2.2.4. The EU response to the Euro crisis not only did not solve any of the contradictions that are underlying to it but made them worse. The dynamics of tension and confrontation - inherent to the imposition of a single currency on asymmetric situations - are permanent and likely to intensify contradictions (even among powers), contradicting the theses on the stability and durability of an Economic and Monetary Union in the European Union. On the periphery of the Eurozone, States deprived of sovereign instruments of economic and monetary policy are unprotected to deal with the deepening of the crisis, with a relapse into recession. Measures such as low interest rates or liquidity provided by the ECB do not mean, in essence, more investment and consumption, they tend to exhaust their effect and bring in new speculative dynamics.

The Euro besieged countries like Portugal. Without its own currency, without a central last resort issuing and lender bank to assist the State and the banks in justified situations, the reliance on «financial markets» or, equally serious, on the ECB, the EU and the IMF is total. The Euro and EMU are not a mere economic and technical problem. They are above all a political issue that clashes with the fundamental rights of the peoples, a project incompatible with economic and social development, the sovereign affirmation of a people and a country. There is no «democratic reform» or «intelligent readings» that change the class nature of the Euro and the EMU.

2.2.5. The imposition of the Budgetary Treaty, the packages of Economic Governance, the European Semester - the process of "policing" budgetary and economic policies and its excessive deficit procedures and macroeconomic imbalances - and the rules of macroeconomic conditionality in the allocation of European funds constitute – together with the "direction" contained in the Europe 2020 Strategy - a web of unacceptable constraints that reinforce the objectives of domination by big business and the major powers, leaving the States increasingly devoid of the few instruments they had left to manage difficulties, confirming the unsustainability of the submission of Portugal to the Euro.

2.2.6. The last few years have confirmed that any policy that favours the workers and the people, even partial or timidly, is inevitably faced with the constraints of the Economic and Monetary Union and the Euro.

Recent developments in Greece confirm the illusion of finding an answer and a solution, in the context of foreign impositions and constraints, in particular of the European Union, and shows how a firm and courageous determination to defend the legitimate rights and sovereignty of a country is required in view of the interference, blackmail and pressures. A process that clearly demonstrated the attitude of the European Union and other centres of decision at the service of transnational capital, of resorting unscrupulously to blackmail and retaliation to crush and suffocate any will of a sovereign affirmation. A process that proves how much renegotiation of the debt and a rupture with the Euro and other instruments and imposition are central elements and condition for an effective policy of sovereign development.

2.2.7. The Banking Union, a massive operation of centralisation and concentration of the banking sector in the European Union, and one of the most serious steps from a structural point of view after the creation of the Euro, aims to prevent a public control by the national States on its financial system. Through the centralisation of supervision and bank resolution by the ECB, the aim is to safeguard above all, and under any circumstances, the interests of finance capital, placing it under the «protection» of the ECB, «safe» from any national policies wishing to put the financial system at the service of public strategies of sovereign development. The Banking Union institutionalises and centralises instruments that will make even more opaque and expedite the operation of channelling public funds to the banks.

The Banking Union and the enhancement of the mechanisms under the Stability and Growth Pact converge in the project of deepening and conclusion of the Economic and Monetary Union, whose ultimate goal, justified with the idea of creating instruments that serve as a shield against future crises, is the Political and Fiscal Union. Meaning a «renewal of vows» between the right and social democracy, accompanied by a rhetoric on a false «change» and a dramatisation about the possible «death of the European project» – a discourse in which social democracy has a central role - aims at enhancing the transfer of power to supranational bodies and launch the false idea of a «democratic legitimacy» of this process.

2.2.8. The furthering and enlargement of the single market to new areas, focusing on strategic sectors, particularly on the so-called «natural monopolies» and social functions, is aimed at carrying out new privatisations and encourage monopolistic concentration.

Its rules sacralise the free circulation of goods, services and capital, the so-called «free competition”, and the removal or even the strict prohibition of direct intervention by the States in the sectors covered. These are the cases of the Digital Single Market, the Energy Union, the Single European Sky, the deepening of the Single Transport Market, the four railway packages, the deepening of the single market in services, networks and infrastructure, and also the Single Market Capital articulated with the Banking Union.

The successive reviews of the Common Agricultural Policy, increasingly dictated by large agribusiness interests, were geared towards liberalisation, destroying almost all public instruments of regulation of supply and protection of national production, accelerating concentration and attacking productive models such as the Portuguese, based on small and medium-size agriculture. The crisis in agriculture and cattle farming could be exacerbated, if free trade agreements are implemented in the field of the trade policy of the European Union, where TTIP stands out due to its seriousness.

The Common Fisheries Policy, with its successive reforms, is increasingly detached from reality, with disregard of the specific situation of countries like Portugal and the dismantling of almost all the instruments of market regulation in this sector, with their increasing liberalisation. The situation confirms the need to revert the provision granting exclusive competence to the European Union in the management of living marine resources.

The adoption of the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, which is below 1% of Gross National Income of the Member States, and the European Plan for Strategic Investment, known as Juncker Plan, belie any priority to cohesion or solidarity in the European Union, aiming instead to ensure greater drain of resources in favour of monopoly groups and major powers that supposedly assume funding status.

The deepening of the single market and the asymmetric effects of common policies was accompanied by a reduction of the EU budget, undermining any redistributive dimension that it could hold. The result is inevitable: more divergence, more asymmetry, more inequality.

2.2.9. The evolution in the area of justice and the so-called «internal affairs» strengthened the mechanisms to curtail rights, freedoms and guarantees, and deepened the «communitarisation» of justice.

The European Union has enhanced its nature of an imperialist political and military bloc with a so-called «foreign» policy that, in the economic, diplomatic, geo-strategic and military fields, is dictated by the interests and aims of economic domination by European monopolies and transnationals from the great powers, like France and Germany.

The trade policy, aligned as a framework of economic and monetary war of the main imperialist powers, deepened the line of liberalisation of world trade and capital movements, being particularly serious the negotiations and decisions of the European Union for the proliferation of free trade agreements trade like the TTIP and CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). The association agreements are used in the policy of expansion - particularly the so-called «neighbourhood» of the European Union - aimed at economic and political domination, as was clear in the case of Ukraine.

The European External Action Service confirmed its role of a mega-structure that aims to centralise at the supranational level the instruments of foreign policy and diplomatic action of the States. The post of High Representative of the European Union resulted in a European federalisation of foreign policy in conjunction with other imperialist powers like the US.

It furthered the militarisation of the European Union, its «external» interventionism and its role as a European pillar of NATO. The Foreign Policy and Common Security and in particular its Common Security and Defence Policy were the pillars that quickly developed after the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. The European Union is now present in virtually all destabilisation scenarios and military interventions. It promotes the European military industry and the implementation of the project of «European army”, as well as the creation of a «European Border and Coastguard» with broad powers to intervene disregarding the sovereignty of States.

The «response» of the EU to the flow of migrant refugees - the result of the militarist, neo-colonial and interventionist policy - is a shocking indictment of the exploitative, reactionary and inhumane nature of the process of European capitalist integration.

2.2.10. The development of the European Union enhances the main areas of contradiction: the class contradiction between big business, which drives the process and accumulates capital, and labour, which loses income, rights and living conditions; the contradiction between the process of political concentration of power driven by big business and the right and aspiration of peoples to democratic participation, defining their own development paths and democratic control of national political power institutions; the contradiction between the propaganda of the «values» of the European Union and the reality of policies within the space of the European Union and its with the rest of the world; the contradiction between the current relationship between the major powers leading the process of capitalist integration to strengthen their power and the resulting rivalry on the dispute of their dominant positions in and outside Europe; and between them and the States in the so-called «periphery».

The enhancement of the three pillars of the European Union - neoliberalism, federalism and militarism unleashed a succession of crises, in reality different expressions of the same crisis, which intensify and feed mutually. The European Union's crisis, of its policies, structures, guidelines and pillars is in itself an expression of the structural crisis of capitalism. A deep and persistent crisis, still underway, which holds new and unique elements compared to past crises of European capitalist integration.

The economic and social crisis has accelerated the political contradictions. The European Union faces a deep political crisis. The debate today is on the possibility of a reconfiguration, or even disintegration, no longer «only» of the Eurozone/Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) but of the European Union itself. The referendum in the UK and its result with the victory of the «exit» reflecting the discontent of those peoples with the European Union is the latest expression of this crisis.

2.2.11. The crisis in and of the European Union shows that fundamental changes cannot be operated in a context of a «reform» of the European Union. Its pillars are an irremovable political and ideological matrix. There is no room for a «re-founding» that calls into question the class nature and course of the European Union.

Contrary to official propaganda, more European Union does not mean more Europe. On the contrary, the deepening of the process of capitalist integration is a major factor of social regression, increased poverty and mass unemployment that, in recent decades, has brought back to the European continent war, terrorism, racism, xenophobia, nationalisms, political persecution of communists and fascism. «Saving Europe» means overcoming the European Union and the interests it protects.

2.2.12. The PCP supports the construction of new forms of cooperation in Europe, assuming that the processes of integration are not neutral from the class point of view, articulate democratic and progressive ruptures at the national and international levels aimed at building a new framework of political, institutional, economic cooperation, solidarity for social and economic development, peace and friendship among peoples and sovereign states with equal rights.

The other Europe of workers and peoples requires the defeat of the process of capitalist integration and bringing about a combination of converging factors: the development of the struggle of the workers and peoples and a growing political awareness on the class nature of the European Union; the sovereign affirmation of the right to economic and social development of European States and the rejection of the impositions of the European Union; the progressive change in the correlation of forces, political and institutional, in each of the Member States of the European Union, or at least in most of them; the coordination and cooperation of progressive and left-wing forces, especially of the Communists, based on a clear position of rupture with the process of European capitalist integration.

2.2.13. The integration of Portugal in the EEC/EU and EMU was and is a permanent process confrontation with the achievements of the April Revolution and the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic. Right-wing policy and European capitalist integration are two sides of the same coin. The rupture with the right-wing policy and the impositions and constraints of the European Union – significant among which firstly, and indisputably, is the Euro and Economic and Monetary Union - are central elements for building in Portugal a political alternative, patriotic and left-wing.

The PCP will continue to intervene, particularly in the European Parliament, to uphold and assert national interests, combat decisions that hurt them, demand and use in favour of the country all the resources, means and opportunities and minimise, with concrete initiatives, the constraints andnegative consequences of integration.

The PCP has great confidence in the struggle of the workers and peoples and reaffirms the inalienable right of the Portuguese people to decide their own destiny and choose the way to ensure their right to a sovereign development. A right that no integration, however advanced its state of development, can expropriate.

2.3. The economic, social, cultural and political situation

2.3.1. The national reality confirms the analyses, warnings, denouncements and fights of the PCP in all areas: political, economic, social, cultural and environmental.

These are the identifying features of the Portuguese reality: the high foreign debts and deficits; the imbalance of public finances and the unsustainability of public debt; the cut in public and private investment, below the levels of sustainment of infrastructure and equipment (decline of fixed capital stock); worsening of the productive, technological, capital, demographic deficits; the weakening of the economic fabric, the decapitalisation of companies, destruction and drainage abroad of capital; loss of national control of sectors, areas and strategic businesses; unemployment, wage losses, job precariousness and impoverishment; restrictions on access to essential public services (healthcare, education, justice); territorial imbalances and regional disruption and disorder; environmental degradation and the increasing commodification of nature; the ideological dominance exercised by big business which includes the concentration of ownership of media; the restoration of reactionary values and thinking, historical revisionism, particularly on contemporary history, fascism and April 25th Revolution, important cultural losses, particularly of the Portuguese language, and expressions of cultural elitism; degradation and subversion of the democratic regime established in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the weakening of social components of State apparatus; corruption and assault on public assets, public-private promiscuity, increasing subordination of political power to economic power and of democracy and national sovereignty to the decisions and impositions of the European Union and the major powers.

A reality that is a result inseparable from the right-wing policy that had and has as main vectors the privatisations, economic, labour and social liberalisation and deregulation, the destruction of Agrarian Reform, the dismantling of important companies in the productive sector, foreign dependence, to which we have to add, in the last five years, the worsening impact of the Pact of Aggression.

2.3.2. The right-wing policy is a class policy of national big capital, associated and dependent on foreign capital. A policy carried out by the big bourgeoisie, which includes a visible financial oligarchy which depends on it.

As the right-wing policy progresses, the clearer becomes the subordination of national interests to the strict and narrow personal and class interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie. With divergences and contradictions within it, what unites them and identifies them as a class is the aim to make the cost of the force of labour the main variable of economic adjustment and central vector of their policy. To which one has to add the economic operations and policies of usurpation of all components of the State that can be new areas of obtaining surplus value and capital accumulation or an obstacle to their implementation, like the public and universal services or labour legislation.

The structural crisis of capitalism and the European capitalist integration, the serious national crisis and competition for markets and public grants and funds, have sharpened contradictions, confrontations and conflicts of interest with layers and sectors of middle and petty bourgeoisie and other intermediate strata.

2.3.3. During these 40 years, the attack by capital created the build-up of relations of capitalist production and of monopolies, essentially dominated by the financial sector and foreign capital, joined by sectors of big national capital.

There were changes in the socio-economic structure that had a negative expression on the democratic regime.

The end result is a powerful movement of concentration and centralisation of capital, along with a relative diminution of the presence of national capital. The evolution of these capitalist relations has three salient features:

  • The finantialization of the economy: the expansion of the dominant positions of the financial sectors in all areas of national economic life that determines the expansion of finance and fictitious capital, and which is the counterpoint to the destruction of productive sectors, the destruction of value and drainage abroad of capital.

  • The expansion and intensification of the presence of private capital at the expense of public capital - seizing companies, sectors, services and several areas from the State, through privatisations and concessions with the progression of private capital in healthcare, education, notary services, defence, public security or justice.

  • The rapid increase of foreign capital in mergers and acquisitions, and entries in the share capital of national public and private companies predominantly in the financial, real estate, energy, industrial, technological and transport sectors.

On the political level, the expression of these structural changes, with the dominance of monopolies in Portugal, is reflected in the increasing subordination of political power to economic power, to «Community» power of the directory of the major powers and European-based transnational capital

2.4. PSD/CDS-PP government action

2.4.1. The four and a half years of PSD/CDS-PP government and the execution of the Pact of Aggression signed by PS, PSD and CDS-PP with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, were marked by a violent attack on the rights of the workers and people, by a policy of concentration of wealth and increase in exploitation, social inequalities and impoverishment, the deepening of the structural deficits of the country, by a severe economic and social crisis, and the gradual degradation of the democratic regime and the reconfiguration of the State at the service of monopoly capital.

Years also marked by the response of the workers and people with the development of the struggle against the right-wing policy and the Pact of Aggression, and in defence of their rights, interests and aspirations.

2.4.2. This period witnessed the increasing decline, setback and dependence of the country.

In the economic field, the country registered one of the largest and most prolonged recessions, resulting in the drop of economic growth during thirteen consecutive quarters and a drop in the Gross Domestic Product of more than 5.5%, throwing it back to figures below those of 2001. A period marked by the growth of foreign debt, which increased in absolute terms and which, in relative terms, increased from 113% to over 131% of GDP, by an abrupt fall of the total investment of more than 23%, the worsening of structural deficits and the closure and bankruptcy of more than one hundred thousand small and medium-size enterprises.

2.4.3. The wages, pensions and incomes of workers, pensioners and other layers of the population were hit hard. Portugal faced unsustainable levels of unemployment, with the number of unemployed rising from 653,000 to over 1,400,000, doubling the number of long-term unemployed. More than 200,000 jobs were destroyed, 70,000 of which in public administration. Half a million Portuguese, mostly young people, many of them skilled, were forced to emigrate.

The exploitation of workers intensified, having registered a general devaluation of wages of 16.5%, which in Public Administration and State Business Sector was of more than 30% as a result not only of the wage freeze, but also cuts imposed on wages and other payments. The attack on collective bargaining and the rights it contained continued, and precariousness became widespread.

2.4.4. Fiscal injustice deepened with a sharp increase in taxes on labour income, together with the relief of taxes on big business. The introduction of the surcharge and changes in brackets and deductions in the Income Tax resulted in an increase in the tax burden on workers and retirees of over 3,800,000 euros.

2.4.5. The domination of monopoly capital on national life worsened, with the deepening of the policy of privatisations, or by handing over, including with the end of golden shares, of strategic public companies to big business - TAP, CTT, EGF, EDP, REN, GALP, ANA, Caixa Seguros, ENVC and various companies of public transport and logistics, some of them reversed following the new phase of political life - with the plundering of public resources that goes with it.

2.4.6. The constitutionally enshrined social rights were imperilled. As a result of a cut of more than 2,000,000 euros, hundreds of thousands of users found themselves excluded from access to healthcare, the rights of professionals of the sector were attacked, user fees increased and the right to transport of non-urgent patients eliminated.

2.4.7. In education, the attack on public school witnessed new steps with the closure of hundreds of schools in the 1st. cycle of schooling; a cut in financing of more than 2,500,000 euros; the implementation of dual and vocational education; the increase in the number of students per class; curricular reorganisation and dismissal of more than 25,000 teachers; discrimination and segregation of thousands of students with special educational needs; the primacy of national examinations, devaluing continuous evaluation.

2.4.8. In Social Security the cuts in the value of pensions intensified, the conditions of access to retirement worsened, in particular by increasing the retirement age and the so-called sustainability factor. They also intensified the cuts in other social benefits such as protection in unemployment and sickness, family allowance, Solidarity Supplement for the Elderly and Social Insertion Income, affecting hundreds of thousands of families.

The deterioration of social conditions and impoverishment led to tens of thousands of families facing the loss of their homes to banks, and thousands of tenants faced eviction due to the application of the law on rents.

2.4.9. The degradation of the democratic regime was enhanced with a systematic policy of challenging the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, of disrespect for fundamental rights and confrontation between bodies of sovereignty. The democratic local government was subject to a programme of subversion of its fundamental characteristics, with an unprecedented attack on its administrative and financial autonomy, which culminated with the extinction of more than twelve hundred parishes. The process of closure of hundreds of public services intensified. They went ahead trying to municipalise education, healthcare and culture. The class nature of Justice deepened, together with difficulties of access to its exercise, thanks to the judicial map closing dozens of courts.

2.4.10. The intensity and depth of the offensive, associated with the PSD/CDS-PP government action and the application of the Pact of Aggression, which affected all areas of political, economic, social and cultural life, represented a civilizational backward step leaving marks and consequences in terms of the living conditions, economic development and national independence, which did not disappear after its defeat. The trail of economic decline, with the destruction of the productive power and capacity, non-renewal of infrastructure and abandonment of public investment continue to mark and condition for the coming years the life of the country and the prospects of its development.

2.5. The elections of October 2015 and the new phase of national political life

2.5.1. The elections of October 4, 2015 spelled the unequivocal condemnation of the PSD/CDS-PP coalition. A condemnation expressed in the ballot and meant the political and social isolation that had already been previously determined by the struggle of the workers and the Portuguese people.

The legislative elections themselves hold conclusions beyond the importance and significance of having prevented PSD and CDS-PP from meeting the conditions they aspired to continue the path of exploitation, decline and national dependence: the confirmation of the value of the struggle and its results, its role in the political and social erosion of the government, even under circumstances where there we those who hastened to declare the uselessness of resistance and the inevitability of the course of impoverishment of the life of the country, the workers and the people; the categorical denial of mystification aimed at transforming an act aimed at electing MPs and determine the composition of the Assembly of the Republic in the so-called «elections for a prime minister».

The condemnation imposed on the PSD/CDS-PP coalition was not only a defeat of their government but also of their policy. It was this expression of demand for change that the PCP answered by taking the initiative to help break the destructive action of the PSD/CDS-PP government. But also with the aim, by giving political expression to the struggle of the workers and people, of not wasting the opportunity, with its intervention, to achieve advances, albeit limited, and thus correspond to its commitment to the workers and the people to fight at all levels for the defence of their rights and interests.

2.5.2. The political solution that was reached does not answer naturally the essential objective of rupture with the right-wing policy and the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing policy. Its political expression has the degree of commitment corresponding to the level of convergence reached between PCP and PS, limited by the obvious and expressed programmatic differences, written down in the «Joint Position of PS and PCP on political solution».

A political framework which meant: not the formation of a government of the left, but the formation and coming into office of a minority PS government with its own programme; not the existence of a left-wing majority in the Assembly of the Republic, but the existence of a relationship of forces where PSD and CDS-PP are in minority, and where, at the same time, the parliamentary groups of PCP and PEV condition decisions and are crucial and indispensable for the restoration and achievement of rights and incomes; not in a situation where the PCP is the supporting force of the government through any agreement of parliamentary incidence but a situation where, having contributed towards the government initiating functions and develop its action, the PCP retains full political freedom and independence, guiding the analysis and decisions always based on what serves the interests of the workers, the people and the country. A political solution assumed in the fullness of its independence and identity, reaffirming its Programme and project, assuming as aims its intervention to achieve the rupture with the right-wing policy and achieve a patriotic and left-wing policy.

A political solution whose lasting power directly depends on the adoption of a policy to ensure the reversal of the path of decline and regression imposed by the previous government and corresponds to the interests and aspirations of the workers and the people.

2.5.3. The new phase of national political life reflects the contradictory framework of the possibilities and limitations that are inherent to it. On the one hand, the implementation of a set of advances, albeit limited, resulting from the struggle of the workers and the intervention of the PCP, expressed both in the State Budget for 2016, and other adopted legislation of undeniable meaning and political significance, with what it means in terms interruption and reversal of the continuation and intensification of the PSD/CDS-PP government offensive, in progress made on return of rights, wages and income and testimony, even if conjunctural, of the existence of a course different from the one that the PSD/CDS-PP government and the European Union presented as the only one and inevitable. On the other hand, the confirmation of the limitations on most decisive and indispensable advances resulting from options of the PS government of submission to policies, impositions and conditioning of the European Union and the interests of monopoly capital.

2.5.4. In any case, the restoration of wages and the 35 hour-week in Public Administration, the elimination of the Income Tax surcharge, the replacement of stolen public holidays, the reversal of the process of privatisation of public companies of public transport, the increase in the national minimum wage, increased child benefit and solidarity supplement for the elderly, the cut in healthcare user fees, the introduction of free school textbooks, the end of exams in the 4th. and 6th. years, the extra support to unemployed workers, the reduction of VAT in restaurants, are examples of steps that have to be consolidated and furthered.

2.5.5. One cannot ignore the complexity and demands of the current phase of national political life. The different programmatic options of PS, its course and its assumed attitude of not breaking the external constraints are known - regarding the impositions of the European Union, submission to the Euro or the debt - or not breaking with the interests of monopoly capital. Options associated with structural elements of the right-wing policy and which remain present in government action. It is fully aware of these contradictions and demands that the PCP will continue to intervene, determined by its commitments to the workers and people and the assessment it makes at every moment of the content of the pursued policy, with the full independence it maintains.

The removal of PSD and CDS-PP corresponded not only to the urgent need to stop their destructive work but also to the legitimate expectations of the electoral defeat of those parties being translated into a defeat of their policy. It is essential to prevent the comeback of the PSD/CDS-PP government policy, either by the hand of these parties or that of PS.

2.5.6. Without ignoring the significance of the advances and steps in opposite direction of the previous government policy, the situation that the country reached, the degree of regression and national dependence, require going further, the adoption of a policy that addresses and responds the need for growth and development.

The possibility now open, although limitedly, to address some of the most pressing problems and above all the necessary continuity and consolidation that has to be ensured, have to face, as is already clear, not only the conditionings and constraints that objectively derive from the process of European capitalist integration, but also from the pressures and blackmail of big business.

Without evading the political significance of the national situation proving that there can be a different path other than more exploration, liquidation of rights and impoverishment, the few months of the current phase of national political life show the increasingly irreconcilable nature between the impositions and goals the European Union and the Euro and a policy that solidly answers the needs of economic and social development. The revanchist reaction from the centres of transnational capital is there to prove that, however mitigated the affirmations of sovereignty or questioning of their interests, they will stop at nothing to preserve their objectives, and it is necessary to combat any illusion about the possibility of consolidating a course of affirmation of the right to a sovereign development under the rules of the European Union.

The current phase of national political life, and the political solution that accompanies it, without prejudice to the possibilities that it opens and that should not be wasted, further highlights the essential aim of rupture with the right-wing policy and the need for a patriotic and left-wing government able to decisively adopt, and on solid foundations, a patriotic and left-wing policy that the PCP restates as absolutely essential to break the power of monopoly capital and the limitations and constraints stemming from the capitalist integration of the European Union and the Euro and their instruments of domination. This is the objective that the workers and the people, democrats and patriots, all those who wish to ensure the right to a Portugal with a future, will take in their hands with their intervention and their struggle. It is this same struggle that under the present conditions will prove to be decisive to win rights and to achieve a break with the right-wing policy.

2.5.7. The period already covered in the new phase of national political life, where besides the entry of PS in government, the new president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa took office, has as predominant features a positioning of PSD and CDS-PP marked by a revanchist attitude, class-oriented, and articulated with the pressures and impositions of the European Union and the most reactionary sectors associated with monopoly capital.

2.6. The economic situation

2.6.1. The economic situation of the country deteriorated sharply in recent years. In the name of fighting the deficit and public debt – impositions partly resulting from the accession to the Euro and submission to the European Union - Portugal was subjected to a violent process of "adjustment" that had devastating consequences in its economic fabric.

Subject to the double garrotte of the deficit and public debt and faced with the absence of instruments of monetary, exchange rate and budgetary policies, that joining the Economic and Monetary Union took away, Portugal witnessed in the last fifteen years a long period of economic stagnation, one of the eight countries that least grew in the world.

A reality that is inseparable from the right-wing policy, the capitalist integration process in the European Union, the nature of capitalism and its structural crisis, is worsened by a set of constraints arising from this framework, which, if not removed, jeopardise any sovereign development perspective that meets the aspirations and needs of the people and the country, namely: a currency - the Euro – out of tune and increasingly in conflict with national interests; an unsustainable debt; banks dominated by big foreign capital.

2.6.2. From the very first moment, PCP fought Portugal’s entry in the single currency and warned of its dangers and impacts, and with the coming into circulation of the currency in our country, fought federalist illusions denounced the consequences of loss of monetary sovereignty and contributed to highlight and broaden the awareness on the real scale of the problem which Portugal has to face.

Targeted by large European economic and financial groups, the Euro, regardless of its configuration or policies associated with it, was and is an instrument to facilitate the transfer of wealth produced to the great powers, to lubricate the ownership and concentration of added value to the capital. Its introduction in Portugal was a violent qualitative leap, which seriously enhanced the neoliberal and federalist option of the EU edifice.

The Euro represented disinvestment and productive degradation, loss of competitiveness and foreign debt, stagnation and recession. It facilitated deindustrialization and privatisation of strategic companies, the weakening of the technological intensity of exports and deepening of a weakened production profile, dependent and peripheral. Worsened public debt, runaway budget and deficit and exposed the country to speculation on sovereign debt. Instead of European convergence, we had social and economic divergence.

The Euro and the EMU constraints are contrary to national interests. So the question that now arises is no longer to stay or not in the Euro, but the urgency, feasibility and viability of release from submission to the Euro as an indispensable condition for the sovereign development of the country.

Portugal needs to release itself from the Euro and from the constraints of monetary integration. It needs a currency befitting the reality and the economic potential of the country, its wages, productivity and productive profile, which contributes to promote them, instead of discouraging. It needs an autonomous and sovereign monetary, financial, foreign exchange and budget management, adjusted to the national situation and which takes advantage of all the room for manoeuvre to boost production, employment and growth. It needs to rely on a true national bank that supports its development project. Needs to leave the Stability and Growth Pact and all its derivatives, the Budgetary Treaty, Economic Governance, the European Semester.

The release from submission to the Euro is necessary and is possible. The country has to study and prepare its release from submission to the Euro, whether this option arises from a sovereign decision of the Portuguese people, or an external imposition or a process of dissolution of the Economic and Monetary Union. This preparation is essential to ensure the full use of the benefits of an exit from the Euro and minimize its costs, in a process that is and will be eminently political.

2.6.3. The Portuguese public debt, standing at figures of more than 131% of GDP, is an expression inseparable from the right-wing policy and, in particular, from joining the Euro. A debt that is annually taking away from the Portuguese State around € 8.5 thousand million just in interest - more than spending on healthcare or education - and without this being translated into a reduction. The Portuguese public debt, largely illegitimate, is unsustainable, reproduces year after year (between 2010 and 2014 increased by 50 thousand million euros) and, without renegotiation, it is not possible reduce it significantly.

Public debt is a «bottomless pit» and its service irrational. The debt has become a mechanism of extortion of public and national resources. Renegotiation is necessary to free resources from debt payment for investment, promoting economic growth and employment, the defence of public services and social functions of the State, to fight poverty and inequality. The country's problem is not the deficit but an unsustainable debt.

The PCP has for long advocated the renegotiation of the public debt. An option, if carried out, that would have saved the Portuguese people the brutal sacrifices imposed on them. The PCP advocates a renegotiation with the creditors to revise the payment terms and nominally reduce the amounts owed. A renegotiation of the debt on the terms, interest and amounts. A political process to serve the people and the country that is inseparable from the release of submission to the Euro and recovery of monetary sovereignty and public control of the banks.

2.6.4. In the financial sector, following the privatisation process, public banks are reduced to CGD (managed in many circumstances as if it were a private bank). The privatisation of banks and the rest of the financial sector was one of the biggest transfers of public money into private hands and was one of the mainstays of the reconstitution of monopoly groups.

After more than two decades where the financial sector and the main private shareholders of the largest financial groups accumulated thousands of millions euros in profits and dividends, the sector has accumulated since 2011, thousands of millions euros in negative results and «impairities».

Impairities that reached, according to the Bank of Portugal, in the period between 2008 and 2014, about 40 thousand million euros, and pointed to recapitalisation needs of around 50 thousand million euros. A situation that led to the bankruptcy of BES and BANIF and subsequent resolution, which is not free from affecting other banks, and will tend to transfer most of the share capital of these banks to foreign capital, or to the aggregation of national banks by foreign banks.

Private financial groups, are today mostly in the hands of foreign capital, have been transformed into centres of tax evasion and money laundering, financial speculation and dilapidation of the social usefulness of savings of Portuguese families.

The sovereignty of the country over its financial system is seriously called into question by the concentration of national banks and other financial intermediaries, like the insurance sector, in the hands of foreign capital and with the implementation of the so-called Banking Union.

In fact, as a result of this management mainly oriented towards speculation (including with Portuguese debt) and the exceptional return on shareholder capital, private banking and the Portuguese banking system, without the intervention of the State, without financial aid, tax benefits and State guarantees, would have already collapsed.

Between 2008 and 2015 only, State aid to the financial sector must have reached more than 11.5% of the 2015 GDP. An intervention by the State, whose bill has been paid by the Portuguese, as was the case with the BPP, BPN, BES and BANIF.

The situation of the financial sector can be explained, not only due to mismanagement or behavioural deviations by bankers, despite their existence, but especially due to the functioning of the capitalist system and the domination by monopoly capital of the financial sector and the economy, which successive governments have stimulated through imposed policies and rules.

The need to contain the major systemic risks that persist on the economy, to prevent more private losses transferred to the Portuguese people, to ensure the solvency, liquidity and regular functioning of the financial institutions, to ensure effective regulation, supervision and monitoring of banking, requires public control of the financial system. Banks, like other strategic sectors, if they are not public, are not national.

2.6.5. The release of the country's submission to the Euro, the renegotiation of the debt, the recovery of public control of the banks, are conditions for a sovereign Portugal. The removal of these three major constraints, deeply intertwined, is an urgent objective to meet the needs of the people and the country.

(...)

2.12. Patriotic and left-wing policy

2.12.1. The last few years in Portugal represented a sharp economic, social and democratic setback.

The effective response to the country's problems continues to be affected by the pressure of the burden of public debt, the constraints and blackmail of the mechanisms of the Euro and the European Union, the succession of scandals in banking, which consume thousands of millions euros of public resources, or the domination of monopoly groups on the national economy. In the current situation, the struggle for a rupture with the right-wing policy, although inseparable from the consolidation of all the positive measures and advances and the fight against the negative aspects that are still present in the new phase of national political life, requires a clear statement of the central goals of a patriotic and left-wing political alternative that the PCP proposes.

A policy which, due to its patriotic dimension, sets down national sovereignty and independence as a central goal, affirming the inalienable right of the power of decision of the Portuguese people on the necessary options and guidelines for achieving them, and the prevalence of this sovereign will over all constraints and foreign impositions.

A left-wing policy which, without any hesitation, makes a rupture with the right-wing policy, and sets down as aim the valorisation of rights and incomes of the workers and people, raising the living conditions of other classes and anti-monopoly layers, promoting justice and social progress.

2.12.2. The materialisation of a patriotic and left-wing alternative policy requires, as determining factors, the broadening of the organisation, unity and struggle of the workers, the increasing intervention of all the anti-monopoly layers in a large anti-monopolist social front, the strengthening of the PCP and an increasingly broad support to the Party, to its proposals and political initiatives.

The patriotic and left-wing policy is not only necessary but possible because giving a coherent and comprehensive answer to national problems and ensuring the conditions for the development of the country, corresponds to the interests of the overwhelming majority of the Portuguese people.

The patriotic and left-wing policy that the PCP proposes to the country is based on the principles and values of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, is part of the PCP’s programme «An Advanced Democracy - The April values in the Future of Portugal», an integral part of building a socialist society in Portugal.

2.12.3. A policy that, starting from the axes and objectives - in its political, economic, social, cultural, environmental dimension and of national independence, adopted in the XIX Congress, has as decisive elements in the current political framework and in the development of the economic and social situation of the country, eight priorities:

  • Release of the country from submission to the Euro and the impositions and constraints of the European Union which, together with other expressions of a sovereign foreign policy of peace and cooperation, affirms a free and sovereign Portugal;

  • Renegotiation of public debt, in its terms, interest and amounts, to ensure a debt service consistent with the needs of public investment, development and creation of jobs;

  • Valorisation of labour and of workers, based on full employment, wage increases, reduced working hours, in defence of work with rights, fight against unemployment and precariousness and in higher retirement and pension benefits;

  • Defence and promotion of national production and productive sectors, with the development of a policy to defend the manufacturing and mining industry, agriculture and fisheries, which places national resources to serve the people and the country and reduce structural deficits;

  • Ensure public control of banking, return to the public sector of strategic basic sectors of the economy, bolstering a strong and dynamic State Business Sector, support to micro, small and medium-sized companies and the cooperative sector;

  • Ensure a public administration and services to serve the people and the country, valuing the National Health Service as a widespread, universal and free service; a free and quality Public School; a Public and Universal Social Security System;

  • Defence a policy of fiscal justice to ease the tax burden on the incomes of the workers and people and end the scandalous favour to big business;

  • Defence of the democratic regime and compliance with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, enhancing rights, freedoms and guarantees, fight against corruption and implementation of an independent judiciary and accessible to all.

Chapter III
Mass struggle and the alternative

3.1. The mass struggle

3.1.1. The violent onslaught against workers, the people and the country during the term in office of the previous PSD/CDS-PP government was felt particularly strongly in the latter's attacks on rights and against the democratic regime and the country's sovereignty.

3.1.2. As a result, Portuguese workers and the people engaged in an intense struggle to defend their interests and rights and to oppose the onslaught by big business and the political powers that are at their service.

Mass struggle has thus confirmed its role as a decisive factor to intervene, build a political alternative and bring about social change

3.2. The struggle of the working class and of workers in general: the engine of mass struggle

3.2.1. The working class and workers in general were the main targets of the brutal onslaught against social and labour rights launched by the PSD/CDS-PP government that was at the service of big business and bosses and aimed to intensify exploitation.

This onslaught, which was supported by an intense ideological campaign, resulted in the stealing of four national holidays and of days of leave, an assault on overtime, freezing and cuts in wages, de-regulation of and increased working hours, while at the same time tax benefits for large companies were extended. These attacks were accompanied by an offensive against collective bargaining, fostering unemployment and casual labour.

The attacks on collective bargaining and the unitary trade union movement were at the heart of the actions undertaken by big business and the PSD/CDS-PP government to alter the correlation of forces between labour and capital. Their aim was to restrict the reactions of the working class and of workers in general.

Throughout this period, a brutal attack against labour rights and collective bargaining was perpetrated which fostered unemployment, increased casual labour, exploitation and impoverishment. In many places, it did indeed change the features of labour relations.

3.2.2. The trade unions under CGTP-IN played a central and decisive role in the powerful, determined and courageous response of the working class and workers in general from both public and private sectors. It was a struggle that was fought in companies and working places and that took many forms (workers' meetings, petitions, strikes, stoppages, demonstrations, assemblies, marches, handing-out of flyers). There were important moments when the various individual struggles converged, such as for the celebrations of the 25 April 1974 Revolution and in particular the massive initiatives on the 1st of May, but also other initiatives organized by CGTP-IN such as, in 2013, the Interjovem demonstrations, the celebration of the National Day of Youth, International Women's Day, a National Day of Action on the 14 February, the demonstration on the 6 June; a general strike on 27 June; the «March for the April Revolution» on the bridges over the Tagus and Douro rivers on 19 October; the initiatives in front of the National Parliament of 1 and 26 November; and, in 2014, the demonstrations on 14 June in Porto and 21June in Lisbon; the national day of outrage, action and struggle on 13 November and the national days of struggle between 21 and 25 November; in 2015, the demonstrations all over the country that were called by CGTP-IN on 7 March and the intense sectoral struggles, namely in the civil service. These activities, together with hundreds of other converging actions and struggles carried out in various sectors of the economy, were very sizeable and of the utmost importance.

Converging initiatives gave a new impetus to the sectoral initiatives and demands in companies and workplaces, as was the case in the launch of the campaign against casual labour and the weeks of struggle organized by CGTP-IN in May and September 2016.

It was a struggle that took place under intense pressure, blackmail and threats, but for which workers defined concrete goals and carried out thousand of initiatives and mobilized themselves in companies and workplaces. This was a courageous struggle, with workers whose employment status was precarious putting up resistance, organizing themselves and taking in their hands the fight for their rights, as happened with the workers in the energy sector; telecommunications; shipbuilding; airports; and logistics.

The struggle led to the reinstatement of the 35-hours working week in the civil service. It was the outcome of thirty-four months of consecutive struggle, in particular of workers in local authorities who, with their organization and mobilization put up the first opposition in local administration to the enforcement of the 40-hour working week. It was a victory that, like the reinstatement of the stolen holidays, proved that struggles, even if prolonged ones, will eventually be successful.

This example can be extended to the struggles the transport sector against all that was taken away from workers in State-owned transportation companies; against the privatization of the Lisbon underground (Metropolitano); of bus and tram companies in Lisbon (Carris) and Porto (STCP); of the ferry companies on the river Tagus (Transtejo, Soflusa); of the cargo company (CP Carga), maintenance company (EMEF) and the Cascais line in the rail sector; and of the national airline (TAP); against the new labour regulations for dock workers and its consequences; against the de-regulation of the handling sector; against the cuts in overtime pay in various companies; against the cuts in pension supplements; for a rise in wages and to defend collective bargaining. It can also be extended to the struggle against the privatization of the general services company EGF (Empresa Geral do Fomento), and in particular of the waste management companies AMARSUL and VALORSUL.

This struggle by workers was a constant struggle and became the engine for other social struggles, mobilizing other sectors of society to oppose the right-wing policies.

3.2.3. The defeat of the PSD/CDS-PP government is inseparable from the struggle of the working class and workers in general. In social terms, it was expressed by the fight that was put up every day by workers and that eroded the social support for the government; in electoral terms, it was expressed by the various elections, particularly the general election of 4 October 2015; in political terms, it was expressed, for example, when thousands of workers demonstrated before the National Parliament on 10 November, thus contributing decisively to the removal of PSD and CDS-PP from the government. It was the struggle by workers that defeated the PSD/CDS-PP government. The struggle by workers is the most decisive element to defend and obtain rights and to defeat right-wing policies.

While the new phase in the country's political life has brought about significant and positive developments, it has not by itself altered the practices and objectives of employers who aim at preserving the power that they have gained and at preventing the recovery of their rights by workers.

It is and it will be in companies and workplaces that the struggle for collective bargaining, against casual labour, for reduced working hours and a rise in wages will be decided. It is by strengthening the struggle, mobilization and organization of the working class and workers in general in companies and workplaces, and by reinforcing their representative structures, that a decisive contribution can be made to heighten the social and political conscience of workers and to bring about new advances in political terms.

3.3. The struggle of other classes, strata and social groups and communities

3.3.1. Faced with an unprecedented onslaught, farmers, retired employees and pensioners, micro-, small- and medium-sized employers, working youth and students, intellectuals and technical staff, men and women working in cultural activities, people with disabilities and communities in general took on the role and decided to act to defend their rights, the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the values of the 25 April 1974 Revolution. Their struggles involved thousands of Portuguese citizens and had very specific goals. They brought together very diverse social groups who converged in the context of a broader struggle in social terms to oppose right-wing policies.

3.3.2. The struggles of farmers were against the fiscal policies affecting them; the amendments to the law on common land (Lei dos Baldios) which represents an attack against community-owned land; the excessive planting of eucalyptus trees in forests; the handing-over of Casa do Douro (a collective body overseeing wine-growing in the Douro valley) to the interests of big traders and exporters; the removal of milk quotas; the absence of guarantees that their production will be purchased at a fair price; the support and incentive to large holdings and to transnational aggro-businesses by means of the reform of the CAP.

Against this backdrop, the movement of small- and medium-sized farmers lead the struggle and the demands, organising numerous initiatives that had the participation of thousands of farmers and thus contributing decisively for unity in the struggle for specific demands. Examples of such initiatives include the large demonstrations that were organised in April 2014 in Lisbon, in March 2015 in Braga, in March 2016 in Matosinhos together with other organisations, to defend the milk sector and its survival. Other examples include the actions undertaken in AGROVOUGA and to defend the Douro region, the common land (baldios) and crops such as rice, potatoes, wood, fruits and cereals.

3.3.3. Fishermen and small ship-owners organized various initiatives and engaged in several struggles in the context of their associations and trade unions. They converged to defend goals that are essential for the survival of the industry and to put a stop to the worsening of their working conditions and lowering of their income.

The following struggles are worth mentioning: for a minimum guaranteed income; to repeal the amendments made to the rules regarding contributions to the social security system (Código Contributivo da Segurança Social) with demonstrations at sea that led to changes in the legislation; for the enforcement of the provisions in the general-purpose labour legislation (Lei Geral do Trabalho) for fishermen and the revision of the legal provisions of individual work contracts; to defend the traditional fishing gear arte xávega, the right to sell the first haul, the increase in the power of engines and the sustainability of sardine fisheries; for safety at sea; for adequate pricing of fuels; to improved conditions in harbours and to keep the public nature of Docapesca (a company managing fishing harbours and markets); for public structures that are more adequate and better equipped to address the needs of fishermen and the industry.

3.3.4. Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Employers were involved in many struggles against the increase in the VAT for restaurants; against amendments to the legislation governing the access to trade, catering and services activities and the legislation on the rental of properties; for the abolition of advance payments to the tax authorities (pagamento especial por conta) and the latter's abusive practices; against the plundering policies of large retailers against their suppliers; against the abuse of dominant position, economic dependency and restrictive commercial practices in monopolized markets.

3.3.5. In a context where an increasing number of Technical Staff and Intellectuals are becoming employees and proletarianized, there were many instances when these converged and fought side by side with the working class and workers in general, thus contributing significantly to broaden the social front of the struggle. Examples of such convergence include the struggle of pre-school educators and basic and secondary school teachers to defend their right to work, against dismissals and the increase in casual labour; the struggle of doctors and nurses for an improvement in their professional status and better wages; the struggle of workers in the cultural sector for an acknowledgement of their work in culture and for policies that promote collective bargaining and work with rights; the struggle of journalists against collective dismissals in several media organisations; the struggle of psychologists for their right to work; the struggle of researchers in receipt of grants to have a status acknowledging them as workers with an actual work contract.

3.3.6. Youth is a social group with its own aspirations and ways of fighting and intervening. While it is not an homogeneous group, it shares the values of solidarity, sharing and participation which make in an indispensable force in the struggle for social progress and for a break with right-wing policies. Youth currently faces a range of specific issues.

Thousands of young workers took part in the struggle to demand their rights and wages, in particular in the demonstrations convened by Interjovem/CGTP-IN. This was a struggle that had at its roots defending rights and fighting the casualization of labour relations. In addition to unemployment and casual labour, youth is faced with a wide-ranging set of transversal issues including access to housing, culture, sports or the right to mobility.

In basic and secondary schools, students organized hundreds of initiatives to demand better physical and human conditions, the right to have school transport passes and access to transportation, against national exams, and in support of state-owned, free and quality schools. Theirs was also a struggle against the forced separation of students into different educational paths; against the promotion of selectivity and the undervaluing of the continuous assessment of students' performance; against the pressures of those that oppose an organized students' movement, namely by banning general assemblies of students (Reuniões Gerais de Alunos), propaganda e actions in schools. The victories that were achieved were significant and will contribute to enhance youngsters' consciousness of the value of struggles.

Students in higher education face a context were there is a growing elitism. They fought against tuition fees and the rise in the costs of education; denounced the attacks against students' social support mechanism (Acção Social Escolar); against the establishment of foundations governed by private law and against mergers; against the privatization of schools and services; against the attacks on democracy in schools which derive from options made in education policies and that have two important instruments in the legal frammework governing institutions of higher education (Regime Jurídico das Instituições do Ensino Superior) and in the Bologna Process.

3.3.7. The struggle of women took the form of their significant and combative participation in the struggle of the working class and of workers in general and it involved the anti-monopoly classes that were seriously affected by the policies aimed at enhancing exploitation and impoverishment.

It was a struggle that united men and women in their common demands and defence of their living conditions and rights, for a fairer and more sovereign country. In the struggle for their emancipation, women associated the demands concerning the elimination of the inequalities and discriminations that specifically affect them to the struggle against exploitation and the respect for the rights of all.

3.3.8. Retired employees, pensioners and the elderly were the victims of an unprecedented attack against the amount of their pensions and were faced with an increase in the age of retirement.

Throughout this period, MURPI convened the largest days of action of the last few decades. Tens of thousands of retired employees, pensioners and elderly citizens across the country took part in marches to express their outrage and to protest. Marches were organized on 12 April 2014 and meetings were held in several districts on 11 April 2015. The annual Picnicão, a cultural and political initiative, was also held.

The initiatives of Inter-Reformados, on the other hand, contributed to the struggles undertaken by CGTP-IN and showed very clearly that the class attack against wages, labour rights and living and working conditions is inseparable from the attack against the income and rights of all the workers who have retired.

3.3.9. The struggle undertaken by citizens with disabilities has contributed to the adoption of legislation in various domains aimed at ensuring a broad range of rights in areas such as, inter alia, education, health care and accessibility. The national legislation in this field remains one of the most advanced in the European Union.

The struggles undertaken by communities as well as by committees of users included important initiatives such as, inter alia, those in support of the National Health Service; against the closure of schools and other public services and courts; to defend quality public transportation; to abolish tolls in what were previously free motorways (ex-SCUT); against the closure of post offices and the privatisation of the postal service (CTT) and the rise in the price of the services provided; against the closure of pharmacies, police stations and the stations of other security forces.

Other struggles worth mentioning are those to defend public water supply systems and the environment; against the rise in rents in social housing estates; the struggle of the inhabitants of Ria Formosa against demolitions; the struggle against the extinction of freguesias (local authorities) and to demand their reinstatement, against desertification and regional asymmetries.

3.3.10. Staff of the security forces and services carried out the largest joint protests ever in 2013 and 2014, making specific demands and denouncing a strong attack on their rights. Those joint actions took place in parallel with initiatives of each individual body regarding specific aspects of their work, namely by police force (PSP) and national guard (GNR) staff, as well as by prison guards (Corpo da Guarda Prisional). The struggle of forestry guards (Guardas Florestais), who have a civilian status but are part of GNR, is also worth mentioning.

3.3.11. The military also carried out major initiatives that brought together their three social-professional associations. The focus of their struggle were the attempts at undermining and destroying provisions regarding health care and social support that are enshrined in their military status as well as the negative changes to the latter.

3.3.12. The struggle of emigrants faced with the attacks by the PSD/CDS-PP government against the teaching of the Portuguese language and the living and working conditions of consular workers, which ultimately affect the emigrant communities as well, led to a range of actions and initiatives in support of their rights and public services.

3.3.13. The struggle of immigrants was focused on their right to become legalized, against discrimination and illegal work.

3.3.14. The fight for peace and against militarism and war, for solidarity with the peoples fighting for their rights and sovereignty and to defend peace and cooperation continued.

Amongst the very diverse initiatives that were undertaken, the following should be pointed out: the Campaign ««Yes to Peace – No to NATO's Military Exercises» (Sim à Paz – Não aos Exercícios Militares da NATO); the Concerts for Peace; the actions in solidarity with the victims of imperialist aggression – such as in Syrian and the Ukrainian people –, with Bolivarian Venezuela, the struggles of the Palestinian people, the people of Western Sahara and the Cuban revolution; the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism-Fascism and the 40thanniversary of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic; or the actions to end nuclear weapons.

3.3.15. The struggles resulted in many accomplishments. The broadening of those struggles and their growing scale were of the utmost importance to address specific issues, to reject the notion that «there are no alternatives», as well as to broaden the social front of the struggle and the social alliances against right-wing policies and to build a patriotic and left-wing alternative.

3.4. The unitary organization of the working class and of workers in general. The Unitary Trade Union Movement

3.4.1. The solid class orientation of CGTP-IN, based on its founding principles and objectives, and the constant strengthening of its influence, ability to aggregate and mobilize, are the pre-requisite and ensure that the transforming struggle of workers and the masses will proceed and become more intense. The consequent actions and struggles that are undertaken from the workplaces by the Unitary Trade Union Movement around CGTP-IN make it a powerful trade union organization, one that is prestigious and combative, necessary and indispensable to defend the rights and interests of workers and to fight for the social progress of Portugal as a sovereign state with a better future ahead.

In a context where the devastating impact of right-wing policies has become apparent but national politics has entered a new phase, the Unitary Trade Union Movement and the struggle of workers face heightened challenges with regard to their ability to intervene – and to address concrete and immediate issues, break effectively with right-wing policies and promote a left-wing and patriotic alternative.

The Unitary Trade Union Movement is a vibrant and active class and mass organization that counters so-called «social dialogue» and «social consultation» with the right to freely negotiate and to collective bargaining and agreements; that favours taking the initiative and making demands and opposes servile and defeatist attitudes; that supports the unionization, organization and unity of workers on the basis of concrete objectives and common interests and fights attempts at dividing them and at undermining their organized struggles.

3.4.2. Against a backdrop of intense ideological struggle, of internal and external pressures and blackmail – aimed at prolonging and intensifying the policies of exploitation, impoverishment and submission –, the attacks against class-based trade unionism and the unitary project persist with the aim of undermining, de-characterizing and integrating it into the system.

Divisionism in the trade union movement is reflected in the role played by UGT against the class interests of workers, the interventions by other structures and the emergence of «trade union» organizations that are a kind of extension of «social movements» and are supposedly innovative and «modern».

3.4.3. However, in the context of workers' class organizations, the Unitary Trade Union Movement, with its coherent and decisive actions, its autonomy and own identity, remains a decisive social force, one that is able to mobilize and stimulate the struggle by the masses against big business, for a break with right-wing policies, for progress and the emancipation of workers.

The involvement and influence at all levels of communist militants in the Unitary Trade Union Movement, who are elected by their work colleagues and have gained their trust, is inseparable of the class nature and a guarantee of the unitary character and combativeness of the organization, of its autonomy, independence and democratic characteristics, in full respect for the decisions taken by the competent bodies and in convergence with other trade union leaders and activists, with or without political affiliations.

3.4.4. The following are key guidelines for the interventions of communists aimed at strengthening the unitary trade union movement:

3.4.4.1. The development of actions and struggles in workplaces to defend, demand the reinstatement and conquer new rights; to demand a generalized rise in pay; to ensure job security and fight casual labour; to fight the deregulation of working hours and to demand their reduction; to demand the reinstatement of the right to collective bargaining, equality and the fight against discriminations in workplaces; to demand working conditions that will safeguard the health and safety of workers.

3.4.4.2. Interventions aimed at fostering a particular working culture, with priority being given to actions and demands in companies and workplaces, the establishment of close relations with, involvement and participation of workers.

3.4.4.3.The dissemination of information on and defence of the rights enshrined in collective agreements as a core element to oppose strategies aimed at abolishing those rights on the grounds that collective agreements have expired.

3.4.4.4. The implementation and intensification of integrated actions, the strengthening of the organization, promotion of unionization and the reinforcement of grass-roots trade union organizations, ensuring training in trade unionism for workers representatives so that they may undertake practical class actions.

3.4.4.5. Militancy and making use of the availability of cadres, in particular of those who are not involved full-time.

3.4.4.6. Restructuring of trade unions while respecting the scope of individual trade unions and keeping an overall view of the trade union movement; decentralizing trade union activities; establishing trade union houses (casas sindicais) with shared services.

3.4.4.7. Administrative and financial restructuring for a better use of existing resources and to fulfil the commitments of individual trade unions vis-à-vis the trade union movement. The monthly control of revenue from members fees, budget and overall financial situation.

3.4.4.8. Support to and promotion of CGTP-IN's international activities based on the notion of unity in action, defending the class interests of workers who are not affiliated with worldwide trade union confederations, but maintaining working relations with WFTU and ITUC, national trade union confederations and promoting multilateral cooperation.

3.4.4.9. Supporting the cooperation between trade unions and workers' committees and opposing attempts to put them against one another and divide them on the basis of their work status, namely between those with a permanent and a temporary work contract.

3.4.5. The movement of Workers' Committees (Comissões de Trabalhadores, CT) continues to be a sizeable movement and to play an important role. It is targeted by employers who have tried to restrict their right to intervene and to constrain and repress their members, whether by enticing them to become works councils or by promoting them as opposed to trade unions, with a view to divide workers. Be that as it may, CTs have proved to be an important element in the unitary organization of Portuguese workers. The actions of communists, together with workers, are of the utmost importance to value interventions in CTs and sub-CTs, to converge and work with the Unitary Trade Union Movement and to set up new CTs whenever required by the interests, organization and unity of workers.

The election of workers' representatives to the health and safety at work bodies should be encouraged and attention should be given to their role, so as to support demands and ensure better working conditions.

The high level of unemployment and its persistent nature make it more necessary than ever to pay attention and to organize the interventions and struggles of the unemployed. In this context, the Movement of Unemployed Workers (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Desempregados, MTD) has an important role to play.

(...)

3.8. The political and party-political context

3.8.1. With the defeat of PSD and CDS-PP, who had their worst electoral score ever in general elections on 4 October 2015, and with the decisive intervention of PCP, the two right-wing parties were removed from government. A minority government of PS was formed and took office in the context of the new correlation of forces in the National Parliament and the joint positions signed by PS with PCP, PEV and BE.

3.8.2. PS's electoral score in the last general election reflects the condemnation by the electorate of its responsibility in the Pact of Aggression and its connivance with the actions by the PSD/CDS-PP government.

Faced with the outcome of the general election, the change in the correlation of forces resulting therefrom and the new political circumstances – where PSD and CDS-PP had lost the possibility of forming a government by themselves – PS, hesitantly and with contradictions, eventually contributed to open up a new phase in the country's political life. PS's new stand hasn't transformed it into a party with left-wing policies, it hasn't changed the nature of its policies and political options, which are characteristically of a right-wing nature and are expressed in well-known strategies of subservience with regard to the EU's process of capitalist integration and the interests of monopoly capital.

Over the past four decades, PS has supported right-wing policies. Today, as in the past, the analysis and characterization of PS's political positioning is not based on its public statements but on the practical measures it takes in the face of a necessary break with right-wing policies.

3.8.3. BE continues to be promoted and to benefit from the support of the media. It has a political agenda and takes political stances based on high-flying language but that do not change its social-democratic-like nature. Its actions are in many cases determined by its prejudices against PCP. There are many matters, though, where areas of convergence exist, namely in institutional terms. These, however, do not cancel out the obvious differences that exist, both in terms of the European Union and the federalist notions underlying it, as well as in terms of the policies and priorities for action in the national context.

3.8.4. The Partido Ecologista «Os Verdes» has had diversified interventions with an environmental focus and is increasingly active in political and institutional terms, thus contributing to a broadening of the basis for convergence between democrats and patriots with a view to addressing the issues that the country faces. PEV has contributed significantly to strengthen the political impetus of CDU and the consolidation of its initiatives is yet another contribution to the assertion, dissemination and reinforcement of the Coligação Democrática Unitária.

3.8.5. In the wake of its electoral defeat in 2015, removal from government and break-up of the coalition with CDS-PP, PSD has maintained a political line defined by its attachment to the political agenda and interest of transnational capital and of the group of major powers that have imposed on the country and look forward to reinstating a course of decline, reversal of achievements and dependency. In a context where contradictions are apparent, PSD continues to be the tool of first choice to deepen right-wing policies and the political force that is more closely identified with the most reactionary circles of monopoly capital and the major powers of the European Union.

3.8.6. CDS-PP has changed its leadership and is engaged anew in an operation to whitewash its responsibilities in the disastrous policies that it co-authored with PSD. Its political interventions are guided by the populist manipulation of certain social themes and groups, with a view to hiding its deeply reactionary nature and its political agenda aimed at settling the score with the 25 April 1974 Revolution.

3.8.7. PAN is mostly focused on issues relating to animal rights that more often than not lead to actions that distract from other matters and heighten populist feelings. It is currently striving to consolidate its electoral base.

3.8.8. Throughout this period, various processes took place aimed at establishing organized forms of political intervention – Congresso das Alternativas, Tempo de Avançar, Agir. Their fate varied but their common denominator was the significant media coverage that they benefited from in an unsuccessful attempt at contributing to the containment of PCP's political and electoral influence.

3.8.9. To the above should be added other parties, movements and candidacies that under the designation «independent» tried to hide their party-political and economic links. They base their political discourse on anti-political parties campaigns or on high-flying but in fact inconsistent proclamations about the fight against corruption, the artificial division of society between the «political class» and a supposedly «non-political class», at times also referred to as «civil society».

These parties, movements and candidacies are of differing nature, but use the argument that there is a need to defend «citizenship» and «transparency» and demand changes to the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic; they ignore the national context of class struggle; they promote a radical discourse that is the more radical as it is inconsistent; and in doing so they aim to insert into organized and consistent struggles elements that will cause dispersion with regard to their priorities and objectives.

PCP does not ignore that there are actions and initiatives that are based on genuine feelings and that aim to address people's legitimate needs and expectations. However, it has to point out that, more often than not, those objectives are diverted to something different from what were the original intentions of its promoters.

3.9. The struggle for a patriotic and left-wing alternative

3.9.1. The struggle for a political alternative is at present the central and most topical issue. It is essential to open new perspectives in the country and point towards ways to address the challenges of development, progress and national sovereignty.

The new phase in the country's political life gives greater visibility and supports PCP's long-standing arguments that an unavoidable break is required with the course that the country has taken for the past four decades. The obvious limitations of the current political context to provide decisive answers to the country's problems, which derive from both external and internal constraints, make it all the more evident to workers and the people that a break with the impositions of the EU and Euro and the interests of monopoly capital is necessary and indispensable.

The seriousness of the country's economic and social circumstances make ever more urgent such a break with the overall direction, rationale and class-choices of right-wing politics which jeopardize national sovereignty.

A break that will require steadfastness and constant action by the political forces willing to support it and that has as a pre-requisite the broadening of the social front of the struggle, the decisive involvement of the working class and of workers in general and the mass participation of all anti-monopoly classes and social groups, of all those were affected by the right-wing policies and are genuinely interested in reverting the course taken by national politics.

The development of mass struggles around concrete objectives, with labour-related, social, economic and political demands, with actions on a larger or smaller scale, is, as always, the basis and the condition for deepening social and political consciousness and for broadening the demands for a different course that will move away from the current policies aimed at exploitation and impoverishment.

The struggle for a break with right-wing policies and for a patriotic and left-wing alternative requires, moreover, a deeper dialogue with non-affiliated democrats and patriots so that the necessary changes may be brought about. A clearly focused dialogue with all those who are truly committed in bringing about an alternative political project that has as its reference framework the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic. This, of course, implies respect for the existing differences, overcoming of preconceived ideas, hegemonic ambitions and to refuse marginalizations.

3.9.2. As experience has shown, building a patriotic and left-wing alternative is a complex and possibly long-winded process, with advances and set-backs, but also with sudden developments that may be positive or negative. It is a process that will face fierce opposition, both internally and externally, from those who feel that their interest and power will be threatened.

The establishment of a political alternative is inseparable from the development of mass struggles and the broadening of the social front of the struggle, with a view to changing the correlation of forces in political terms and the indispensable strengthening of the political, social, ideological and electoral influence of PCP.

The establishment of an alternative, that experience has shown to be urgent and unavoidable, will not be achieved only with PCP but it will be impossible without, or against, PCP.

The Party of the working class and of all workers is indispensable in such a process. As it will be indispensable in a government willing to put such alternative into practice and that will have to include democratic forces, sectors and personalities and be supported by mass organizations and movements of the anti-monopoly sectors of society. The feasibility of such an objective and the political support for it rest in the hands of the Portuguese people, who can achieve it with their attitude, struggles and votes.

3.10. Strengthening PCP and the mass struggles, building an alternative

In the period leading to the XIXth Congress, which was characterized by very complex and demanding circumstances both nationally and internationally, where significant dangers and threats were present but also the possibility of opposing, fighting and defeating an unprecedented onslaught by the PSD/CDS-PP government, PCP confirmed its role as an indispensable political force for workers and the Portuguese people, a force that has an irreplaceable role to play in the social transformations that the country requires. In such a process, PCP always took on its responsibilities in mobilizing for mass struggles and in involving all men, women and youngsters committed to patriotic and left-wing policies and to a patriotic and left-wing government that will carry them out.

This is an objective that requires, besides a strengthening of PCP's structure and actions, close links to the masses, a broadening of the social front of the struggle, as well as a convergence with democrats and patriots willing to fight for a country that has a future, to defend freedom, development, social progress and national sovereignty. This is a struggle that is inseparable from consolidating all the positive measures that have in the meantime been adopted in the context of the present political solution, and from a fight against all the negative measures and right-wingpolicies and trends that prevail. It is furthermore a struggle that requires, as decisive and inseparable elements of a political alternative, the unity of the working class, of workers in general and of all those who are truly committed to a patriotic and left-wing alternative, as well as an ever stronger support to PCP, its political proposals and initiatives.

PCP's intervention and actions are focused on its programmatic objectives and based on ideals, values and objectives that are reflected in its everyday practice in support of workers' and people's interests and a convergence between democrats and patriots. PCP's attitude stimulates citizens' interventions, it promotes and values the measures and advancements achieved, even if only of a partial nature, whenever they represent an improvement for the Portuguese people and the country.

PCP has a unique historical record in Portuguese society made of struggles and the commitment to the convergence and unity of all democrats and patriots. Under the current political circumstances, PCP will continue to seek areas and ways of convergence that can bring together the willingness and energy of all those men, women and youths who are committed to patriotic and left-wing policies. PCP thus confirms its role as a decisive force to break away from right-wing policies, a force that is indispensable and irreplaceable for the Portuguese people to bring about the social transformations that the country requires.

Chapter IV
The Party

4.1. The Party's identity and its assertion

4.1.1. The PCP embodies the essential characteristics of the Communist identity. In its activity, its guidelines and its viewpoints, it is the Party of the working class and of all workers, which defends the interest of anti-monopoly classes and strata. It is independent of the influence, the interests, the ideology and the policies of the forces of capital. It is characterized by, and concerned with, ensuring close links with the working class, the workers and the people at large. It has as its supreme goals the edification of Socialism and Communism, a society freed from capitalist exploitation and oppression. Its theoretical base is Marxism-Leninism, a materialist and dialectical instrument of analysis, a guide for action, a critical ideology of transformation. Its operational principles result from a creative development of democratic centralism, based on a profound inner-Party democracy, on a single general Party line and a single central leadership. It is a patriotic and internationalist Party.

4.1.2. The PCP's everyday activity on concrete and immediate issues integrates the goals of each phase and stage, as well as the Party's supreme goals. The struggle to break with the right-wing policies, for a patriotic and left-wing policy, is inseparable from, and is part and parcel of, the struggle to materialize the Party Programme «An Advanced Democracy – the Values of [the 1974] April [Revolution] in the Future of Portugal». The struggle for immediate goals and the struggle for an advanced democracy are part and parcel of the struggle for Socialism and Communism.

4.1.3. The world situation is made bleak by the destructive effects of capitalism's nature and its worsening structural crisis. This highlights the need for a new society, which can correspond to the legitimate aspirations of the workers and the peoples.

The historical achievements and ideals of the October Revolution, the centennial of which will be marked in 2017, as the first historical experience of building a society freed from class exploitation and antagonisms, and its importance and relevance are all the greater in the times that we live through. Its essence and characteristics, its project and example, the experience and teachings which it provided, are a source of inspiration for all those who fight for a more just and fraternal society of solidarity.

4.1.4. The PCP, with its identity which embodies its liberating and emancipatory project, is the target of attacks by big capital, its apparatus and resources. They seek to weaken and liquidate the Party. Fulfilling its role in the struggle for its goals requires the need to assert its own characteristics, and makes its activity very demanding.

There is a vast arsenal of attacks against the Party, which impose constraints and limit its activity. Such attacks are intensified and adapted to specific circumstances. Among others, we note: anti-democratic laws, among which the Law on Political Parties and the law on the Financing of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns, which in practice have been made even worse by the abusive interpretations of the Entity for Political Financing and Accounts, and its record of interference, intrusion, insult and manipulation; the concrete actions that restrict the right to information and propaganda; the limitations or even banning of political activity inside companies and workplaces, with repressive measures; the silencing, discrimination, manipulation and falsification of the Party's stances in the major mass media; the contents of school curricula and education in general; the general offensive on an ideological level; anti-communism; the re-writing of History; the promotion of individualism, fatalism, resignation, and submission to the class interests of capital and to the strategies of imperialism.

4.1.5. Within this very demanding context of greatly uneven forces, the Portuguese Communist Party, in order to ensure the effectiveness of its activity and to achieve its goals, must base itself on its organization, its militancy, its own resources, the operational principles resulting from the creative development of democratic centralism, a profound inner-Party democracy and a single general Party line and a single central Party leadership.

These principles are one of the essential traits of the Party's identity, the foundation of its cohesion, strength, activity and struggle. They reflect the reality of the Party collective and are indissociable from its remarkable operational capacity. These principles suffer, although in a limited way, from distortions and violations which must be opposed and overcome. Party members are integrated into its organizations and bodies, with the right and the duty to voice their opinions, to contribute towards the debate, assessment and collective decision which is compulsory for all in their activity. The replacement of this practice, with the substitution of collective guidelines and decisions by individual opinions, by debates and the forming of opinions outside the Party organizations, disrespecting them and conditioning those decisions – whatever form they may take on, whether through personal contacts or resorting to electronic communication – the promotion of convergences which replace the party's structure and the functioning of its organizations, all these represent attitudes which disaggregate, weaken and impoverish the Party's democratic life, cohesion and strength. It is of the utmost importance to assert, in practice, the Party's organizational principles, to improve work methods, valuing both collective work and individual contributions, overcoming imperfections, opposing petty criticism and disaggregating practices.

4.1.6. The PCP, the Party of anti-fascist resistance, the Party of the April Revolution and the defence of its achievements, asserts itself in the Portuguese society and in the world, as a force for action and transformation, of hope and confidence,with its identity and project, with an activity based on determination and decisiveness, always faithful to its internationalist duties, always at the service of the workers, the people and the Portuguese motherland.

4.2. The Party's activity

4.2.1. In the period between the 19th and the 20th Party Congresses, the Party had to confront the biggest offensive of the past few decades against the workers and the people, spearheaded by the PSD/CDS-PP government. Encouraging and supporting the struggle, the Party was at the forefront of this magnificent struggle waged by the workers and the people.

Opposing this offensive, the workers, pensioners, young people and other anti-monopoly social classes and strata carried out diverse forms of struggle, prominent among them the general strike of 2013 and the major national and regional demonstrations convened by CGTP-IN.

4.2.2. In this period, the Party ran in several elections: for local government in 2013, for the European Parliament in 2014, general elections nation-wide and for the Madeira regional bodies in 2015 and Presidential elections in 2016. Major mass political campaigns were carried out, with special relevance for the June 2015 national March «The people's strength».

4.2.3. The Party marked the centenary of comrade Álvaro Cunhal's birth. Among hundreds of intitatives, and besides the public inaugural session, there was the Campo Pequeno rally, whose scale, participation, strength and the unity that was displayed, represented a major moment in the commemorations. Other key moments were the celebration of the [January 1960] escape from the Peniche Fortress jail; the Conference «Álvaro Cunhal, the Communist project, Portugal and the world today»; the edition of a Photo-biography; the cultural session in the Aula Magna [Cerimonial Hall of Lisbon University], with the participation of over 100 artists; and the central exhibition on display in Lisbon, in the Avante! Festival and in Oporto, which was seen by tens of thousands of people.

4.2.4. The PCP commemorated the anniversaries of the Party and of Avante!, organized the Avante! Festivals, succesfully carried out the major national fund-raising campaign to buy the Quinta do Cabo [expansion of the Avante! Festival space] and continued to strengthen the Party, noticeably with the campaigns of recruitment and of contacts with members. Among other initiatives, the National Meeting «No to national decline. Solutions for the country» was held.

4.2.5. The Party held hundreds of initiatives and events of a diverse nature, namely to mark the 40th anniversary of the April 25 [1974 Revolution] and the 40 years of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

4.2.6. Despite the great difficulties which it had to face, the PCP lived up to its responsibilities towards the working class and the Portuguese workers and people, and to its internationalist duties.

4.3. Priority guidelines

4.3.1. Taking into account the situation and needs, the 20th Congress sets out priority guidelines to strengthen the Party. As concerns leadership work, more resources and capabilities must be found, asserting and strengthening collective work, individual responsibility, a spirit of initiative, coordination and discipline. As concerns cadres, more comrades must be entrusted with permanent responsibilities. As concerns the organization, a major action of recruitment and involvement of new members, the creation and greater activity of more workplace and shopfloor branches, the structuring of local organization taking into account their size, political initiative and work geared towards the younger generations, as well as the elderly and pensioners. As concerns [the Party] propaganda and press, more organization is needed in propaganda work, the use of electronic resources must be systematized and extended, the circulation and readership of Avante! must be increased. As concerns funds, financial independence must be ensured, with an increase of [Party] dues as an essential element. These priorities in strengthening the Party are for the present, and seek to respond to the immediate requirements which exist, always liaising our activity with the strengthening of our organization. At the same time, strengthening the Party must also keep in mind the needs of the future.

4.4. Leadership

4.4.1. Leadership work in recent years was particularly demanding. In a complex international and European situation, and in a domestic situation that was marked by one of the most violent offensives since the fascist regime, leadership work guaranteed, with great determination, the response to the requirements that arose, the stimulus to the development of the mass struggle, an intense political activity, our presence in significant electoral battles, a qualified institutional initative, a demanding ideological action. It promoted a stronger Party, confronting and bringing the offensive to a halt, providing responses to new situations, making good use of possibilities for advancements, pursuing the struggle for the alternative and asserting our Programme, ideal and project. The complexity and requirements of this situation tested the capacity for assessment, response and initiative, and highlighted aspects which provide indications for the necessary strengthening of leadership work.

4.4.2. The demands confronting us are huge. Collective work and individual responsibility, planning and the anticipation of future events, as well as initiative and on-the-spot reaction to events, the assertion of the major strategic issues as well as activity on concrete and immediate issues, the drawing up of our political line, ensuring mass mobilization and leadership, discipline, the coordination and unification of our guidelines and activity, criticism and self-criticism as well as opposing petty criticism, all are aspects that must be considered and ensured.

4.4.3. The Central Committee has fully ensured the Party's top-level leadership work. It held 22 meetings, regularly led the Party's work and responded to situations of special importance and complexity. It remains necessary to more frequently address specific areas of activity.

The list for the future Central Committee must reflect the Party's identity and ensure conditions for the necessary response and initiative when confronting the great political, ideological, leadership, organizational and practical demands that emerge from the current, and from future, situations.

The Central Committee, building on past experience of leadership work, must preserve its characteristics, namely as regards its responsibilities and size, although a slightly smaller CC may be envisaged. The Central Committee must continue to have a large majority of working-class and service workers, with a strong working class component. The Central Committee must include Party cadres – both full-time Party workers and others – with responsibilities in leadership work, who have emerged from their workplaces and shopfloors, involved in mass organizations and movements and who are prominent in various areas of the country's life. A natural renewal must ensure a composition that liaises the participation of tested cadres with new responsibilities for young comrades, as well as strengthening the participation of women.

The process that prepares the list, in accordance with the Party's operational principles and practice, must ensure an extensive auscultation. This demanding process must correspond to the importance and role of the Central Committee which, as part of the collective leadership work, is the body that leads the Party's activity in between Party Congresses.

4.4.4. The Central Committee's executive bodies – the Secretariat and the Political Committee – play their role within the framework of the responsibilities with which they have been entrusted. The demands which the Party faces and will continue to face, make it necessary to continue these bodies' activity with capacity, boldness, active intervention and mobilization, in accordance with the needs that arise.

4.4.5. The Central Control Committee, which is responsible for monitoring the Party's activitites, respect for the Party Constitution and the Party's accounts, is the appeals body for any Party organisation or member. It has lived up to its mandate.

4.4.6. The central leadership work, guaranteed by the Central Committee and by the executive bodies, implies that, besides its own activity based on the information and contribution which it receives from the Party and the mass organizations, there exist support structures for its work, covering diverse areas, with an activity and capability that can respond to the requirements of study, and of preparing and conducting political, institutional and mass work. It is indispensible that such structures be strengthened, that better use be made of the existing resources and that there be a more effective coordination.

4.4.7. The leaderships of the regional organizations have a role of great importance in leadership work, articulating the work of the central leadership and the grassroots organizations – the Party cells. They must be strengthened, taking into account that as a result of their organizations' differing size, they have different expressions.

4.4.8. The [Party's] municipal committees and other intermediate leadership bodies have played a particularly important role. Their number must be increased and their work and links to the masses must be improved. All of their members must have responsibilities for tasks. They must focus on contributing to create and ensure the activity of the grassroot organizations, especially in workplaces and shopfloors, and to continue the work of contacting all members of those organizations, at the same time as they ensure collective work and an adequate size, avoiding extremely large compositions which often result from multiple affiliations and end up degrading the activity of the grassroots organizations.

4.4.9. As regards the coordination of nation-wide or pluri-regional sectors, and despite differentiated developments in different sectors and the continuation of difficulties and problems that must be overcome, significant steps forward, which must be stressed, have been taken in articulating the Party's organized activity in sectors and companies of major importance.

Experience in this field highlights its importance, both because it allows for more in-depth knowledge of the situation which exists in these sectors and companies, and because it creates better conditions to coordinate and organize our work. The necessary response to the demands and the new challenges that we face implies that, without substituting the decisive role of the regional organizations whose spirit of initiative in their fields of work must be encouraged, priorities and adequate leadership decisions be made, in accordance with a profoundly changing concrete reality.

4.5. Cadres

4.5.1. Party cadres are the comrades who take on responsibilities and commit themselves to fulfilling them.

4.5.2. A cadre policy is essential, because leadership work at different levels depends on it, as does the assertion of the PCP and its identity and the creative development of the guidelines and tasks that confront us at each given moment.

Cadre policies require that all comrades and organisms with responsibilities permanently seek to become better acquainted with members, giving them responsibilities, integrating them into collective work, monitoring the fulfillment of tasks, attending to personal problems which may arise, adequately and swiftly solving cadre issues, aiding in the education, formation and development of the cadres in accordance with the Party's needs.

4.5.3. The Party's action is only possible because thousands of cadres in various grassroots organizations and areas of activity take on, with dedication, the tasks which are assigned to them. Shouldering responsibilities is a crucial foundation for their political and ideological education.

4.5.4. The main guidelines for strengthening the Party include the need to entrust new cadres with responsibilities. Important steps forward have been taken. However, the work that has been carried out falls short of both the needs and the potential.

4.5.5. Among the cadres, full-time Party workers play a special role. They are politically and ideologically steadfast cadres, who work full time with great dedication. They have a dynamizing and leadership role, integrated within collective work. They are indispensible for the organization, for leadership, and in all spheres of the Party's activity. At present, the number of full-time Party workers exceeds three hundred (including retired comrades who are actively working), which is essentially the same figure as at the 19th Congress. Despite financial difficulties, steps have been taken to renew and rejuvenate the ranks of the Party's full-time workers. Insufficiencies in the Party's organizational work in the workplaces and shopfloors are reflected in the recruitment of workers to the ranks of the full-time Party workers.

4.5.6. Despite the steps forward that have been achieved, there are still insufficiencies in monitoring, paying attention to, and assisting our cadres.

4.5.7. It is necessary to liaise practical experience with permanent information and theoretical preparation. The encouragement to read and study Party documents, Avante! and O Militante is an indispensible line of work that has not yet borne full fruit. The commemorations of Álvaro Cunhal's centenary, with the broad scope of initiatives and in-depth consideration of his work, had a positive impact on the training of our cadres.

Between the 19th and 20th Congresses, the Party School hosted 31 courses and educational events, in which 620 comrades took part. Among them, was the course on the 40 years of the April Revolution. In the Regional Organizations, 132 educational actions, involving 1930 comrades, were held.

4.5.8. For the present and the future, the comprehensive development of our cadre policy is one of the decisive elements to assert and fulfill the Party Programme. Among the priority lines, we note:

4.5.8.1. To expand and deepen the commitment with militant work, taking into account the characteristics and specificities of each cadre;

4.5.8.2. To entrust many more comrades with concrete tasks, so as to ensure the necessary and permanent strengthening of the organization, and to expand and involve the entire Party collective in the materialization of the guidelines;

4.5.8.3. To renew and rejuvenate the ranks of full-time Party workers, in particular with workers, women and young people;

4.5.8.4. Better monitoring, so as to collectively and individually assess the way tasks are carried out, with a view to accompanying, aiding and educating our cadres and enhancing their courage in defining their own goals for further advances;

4.5.8.5. To expand and deepen the theoretical education of cadres for the current ideological battle, making full use of all available resources, namely by strengthening the scheduling, publicization and participation in courses and actions of political and ideological education in the Party School and in the Regional Organziations. These are essentially based on the fundamental Party documents – our Programme, Party Constitution, Congress Resolutions, the works of the classics of Marxism-Leninism, the work of Álvaro Cunhal, the History of the Party and of the Portuguese Revolution.

4.6. Organization

4.6.1. Organization is the decisive tool of the Party. The Party collective, organized on the basis of its operational principles, active and linked to the masses, is the foundation for our independence, strength and operational capability.

4.6.2. The Party has 54,280 members, which means a reduction that cannot be separated from the clarification resulting from the contacts with Party members [whose names were in the files, but with whom there was no contact]. In terms of social composition, there continues to be a large majority of industrial and service workers (71%), with 39% blue-collar workers, a slight decrease, and 32% white-collar workers, a slight increase. As for age composition, 15% are under 40 years old, 41% are between 41 and 64 years of age, and 44% are over 64 years old. The proportion of Party members over 64 years of age is growing. The percentage of women grew, and is now over 31% of Party members.

4.6.2.1. It should be highlighted that during these years, the Central Committee Resolution «More organization, greater activity, more influence – a stronger PCP» of December 2013 was put into practice. Among other advances, there were two important processes that affected the Party's organization: the National Recruitment Campaign «The values of April in the future of Portugal», that took place from the beginning of 2014 to April 2015, and the national action of contacts with Party members to enhance their activity, update their data and renew their Party membership card, which was launched in 2014.

4.6.2.2. In the past four years, 5300 members were recruited, 2127 of which during the campaign. It should be stressed that over 69.2% of these new members were under the age of 50 when they joined the Party.

4.6.2.3. During the campaign of contacts, Party members whose names were in the files, but whose situation was uncertain after the previous 2003 campaign, continued to be recovered after confirming their Party affiliation. But there are still tens of thousands of members registered before 2003 whose situation is unclear, part of whom can, as has been confirmed, return to the Party ranks.

4.6.2.4. The proportion of Party members who are integrated in Party organisms has remained steady, and 43% of Party members regularly pay their dues.

4.6.2.5. As concerns the Party structure, there are 2542 organisms, including unstructured entities which hold plenary meetings and committees for specific fronts of activity. Of these, 354 are workplace or sectoral organisms and 616 are organisms by place of residence. This represents a slight decrease.

4.6.3. The Party's organization has resisted during the very difficult situation of the past few years and lived up to its irreplaceable role.

Based on its strength and capacity for intervention, it is necessary to consider guidelines to further strengthen it, taking into account both the current situation and the role that it will be called upon to play in the future.

4.6.3.1. Increasing and valuing militancy, which is a fundamental element for the Party's strength requires persistance, individual responsibility and participation in activities. More comrades must be encouraged to take on permanent responsibilities, and better use must be made of these possibilities, however limited they may be.

4.6.3.2. The work to strengthen the Party members' activity and links, and a significant increase in their involvment in Party organisms requires permanent care and focused intitiatives, namely regarding Party membership cards. The use of different means of communication, which are useful in establishing links with Party members, cannot replace personal contacts and the full integration and participation of Party members.

4.6.3.3. A major action of recruitment of new members, and their full integration into the Party's life, must be ensured, with all new members being given a Party organism and specific tasks.

4.6.3.4. Measures must be taken to strengthen the Party's organization and activity among the working class and other workers, in the workplaces and shopfloors. This is an essential priority for Party work. It must take into account the concrete conditions of activity and be based on the premise that existing problems, such as unemployment, precarious jobs and repression, are difficulties but not impossibilities. They require organization, activity and struggle, and not disinterest or neglect. Indispensible measures are: a stronger capacity for leadership; the entrusting of responsibilities to cadres; the creation and activity of more Party cells; specifically targeted recruitment campaigns and a higher number of contacts with workers with the purpose of joining the Party; methods of operation and activity that are in accordance with the Party's goals. In the next few years, and besides the necessary immediate measures, a major national action with these goals must be organized, ensuring a debate and relevant decisions in all Party bodies and organizations.

4.6.3.5. The activity of organizations based on place of residence has a decisive role in the Party's links with the masses, in developing all the lines to ensure its organizational strengthening, through a confident and determined political initiative and struggle for demands.

In order to carry forth this role, it is necessary for residence-based organizations to be structured in accordance with their real possibilities for activity. This must, among other aspects, take into account the number of militants and their degree of participation, the availability of cadres to dynamize the organizations and not just ensure an administrative management.

Residence-based organizations must pay special attention to activity among the younger generations, paying close attention to their interests, problems and aspirations, to the reality of unemployment in these age brackets, as well as to their usual places of concentration, including workplaces and shop floors. They must also structure work among pensioners, namely by creating Party cells. They must stimulate the specific, broad-based, activity of the various popular associations and other structures./p>

4.6.3.6. Structured work focusing on specific strata or sections of society, and on specific interests is a line of work that has proved to be adequate and should be strengthened. In this respect, we stress:

4.6.3.6.1. Strengthening JCP and work among the young people, thus contributing to enhance the Party's influence amount the youth;

4.6.3.6.2. Work and organisation in the sphere of culture, among intellectuals and technical workers, enhancing their political activity, as well as their cultural activity and their creative and artistic work;

4.6.3.6.3. Work among retired persons, specifically through the creation of local or sectoral cells, strengthening organisations that encompass comrades that undertake unitary tasks in this area, benefiting from the experience and availability of retired members for general party work.

4.6.3.6.4. Work among farmers and fishers; among micro-, small- and medium-scale business owners; work focusing on women; work among disabled persons; work among immigrants; work focused on the unemployed.

4.6.3.7. Local Party headquarters are support bases for party initiatives and work. They should be more cared for, ensuring their upkeep, conservation, operation and dynamism.

4.7. Organisation, work, links with the masses

4.7.1. Our party's extensive experience has been acquired in the struggle for workers and for all the people. It includes a large set of teachings that should be taken into account in the struggle under contemporary conditions. One of them is the Party's link to the masses, which is clearly visible in congresses and in day-to-day Party work, and that we view as a strategic factor for party growth and for the creation of roots among the working class and all working people. Links to the masses “nourish” the party, and without them the Party cannot be healthy. They are the only way to effectively know the real world in which we work, and to understand its general and specific features as well as the problems and aspirations of working people and of all the people. Only thus will we be in a position to act and change things.

4.7.2. In recent years, there has been a major growth in awareness about how important this work is for the Party's present and future, and about the fact that if an organisation is detached from life and from the environment where it grows and operates, it tends to become an isolated group and wither without leaving anything behind. But while there have been steps forward, there are still hindrances in getting local bodies to regularly analyse people's and communities' problems and find ways to identify specific demands that can then turn into struggles.

4.7.3. It is therefore a priority for all party bodies to identify and get rid of the hindrances that are preventing the Party from going forward in a broader and more consistent manner to build links with the masses.

4.7.4. It is through links with the working class, with working people as a whole, and with local communities, that the Party will find the future leaders, to extend and strengthen leadership work and to perform the tasks that we need to address.

4.7.5. Each member's work in her/his day-to-day activities, contacting those they work with, is one of the most important elements of the Party's outreach and influence, and of its ability to inform and mobilise.

4.7.6. The Party's unitary political work is an important factor in its links with the masses. We should regularly contact and involve in actions all democratic and patriotic men and women, to let them know the PCP's stances and to hear their opinions – starting with those who work together with us as part of the CDU [electoral alliance].

4.7.7. An important role in the Party's links with the masses is played by those communists who work in mass organisations and movements. It is necessary that they – within the scope of their unitary work – go ahead with audacity, fighting spirit and determination in dynamising and extending the struggle, toward the implementation of each of these unitary movements' and organisations' goals.

4.7.8. Experience has confirmed that work geared toward strengthening institutional activity in improving links with the masses is very important in increasing the Party's prestige.

4.8. Ideological struggle

4.8.1. Ideological struggle is both a reflection and a tool in the class struggle. It is an unavoidable component of social and political struggle, and a key aspect of the struggles between capital and labour, between the forces of reaction and the forces of social progress, between capitalism and socialism.

4.8.2. The dominant ideology, its reproduction and spread among the masses, is a major obstacle to the formation of class consciousness and to greater political awareness, that is, to the development of revolutionary struggle for change.

4.8.3. Under the current situation, of growing structural crisis in capitalism, the ideological offensive's goal is to perpetuate the dominant interests of big capital and of the forces and interests that represent it. To do so: it portrays capitalism as a system to which there is no alternative, while hiding its exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature; it proclaims fascist and fascist-leaning reactionary and obscurantistic ideas, attacking freedom and democracy, promoting wars, justifying and supporting imperialism's crimes; it justifies and seeks to legitimate the European Union's views and interferences and how they condition national sovereignty; it whitewashes fascism end exacerbates anti-communism; it denigrates workers' and peoples' struggles; it fosters compliance, conformism and individualism; it fosters splits among workers and class collaboration; it insists on saying that more exploitation, less rights, and social and civilisational retrogression are all inevitable.

4.8.4. In the new stage in national politics, capital and reactionary circles have unleashed a powerful revanchist and anti-communist political and ideological offensive against the Party.

4.8.5. It is in this context that the Party's initiative and response must continue to develop and become stronger, through day-to-day action, setting goals and making harmonious use of all available means.

4.8.6. Issues to raise in the ideological struggle include: explaining capitalism's nature, contradictions, and historical limits; explaining the PCP's proposal of advanced democracy and socialism, its outlook on the world and on where human society is heading; the struggle against reactionary and fascist ideology, against racism and xenophobia, against militarism and war; struggle against old and new expressions of social-democracy; struggle against anti-communism in its various guises, including especially historical revisionism; highlighting workers' struggles and mass struggles and their achievements, including organisation as a key element.

4.9. Information, propaganda, media and publishing activity

4.9.1. Given the Party's identity, vision and goals, the key features of our information and propaganda work are truthfulness, fairness and clarity. This is especially important in the current situation.

4.9.1.1. Party information and propaganda must always start with thorough evaluation of objective reality, so as to come up with a truthful, clear, powerful, timely and effective message, always mindful of the Party's links with the masses and its struggles, activities, and party-building efforts.

4.9.1.2. Generally speaking, more attention is now being paid by the party to information and propaganda, to its content, form and modes of expression – visual, written, audio-visual or electronic. However, given the current environment of ideological mystification and informational discrimination, the progress made since the 19th Congress is insufficient.

4.9.1.3. Information and propaganda are a task for the whole Party and all its members. It is essential to continue improving it, in coordination with party-building.

4.9.1.3.1. The relevant bodies, each at its own level, must ensure planning and implementation, assign responsibilities and train members for this task. And, taking into account the Party's financial shortcomings, seek to obtain the necessary resources.

4.9.1.3.2. In the current situation, we must work to improve information and propaganda, expand our strength and capabilities, make more and better use of our resources – both centrally and across all levels of the Party structure, and improve the skills and militancy of many comrades.

4.9.1.3.3. It is important to publish many more fliers and other forms of information and propaganda for the grassroots organisations – those closest to workers, workplaces and local communities. Their message should be tailored to local conditions. Among others, it is important to learn from the positive experience of the “More rights, more future, no to casualisation” campaign, where a great number of documents were issued about real-life situations in companies and industries, yielding positive results for the struggle and for party-building.

4.9.1.3.4. It is a decisive issue that for every situation and proposal, the Party's message be decided and publicised in a timely way, to confront and expose the lies of big capital and of the mass media and other tools at its service.

4.9.1.3.5. Nationwide information and propaganda actions and campaigns are very important. Planning must be improved and followed, we must go further, contacting and talking directly to workers, learning about issues, creating conditions to convey information and to expand the party and its influence.

4.9.1.3.6. It is necessary to convey information, and to continue working to overcome discrimination, illegal actions, and attempts to curb the party's action, freedom of expression, and ability to convey information and propaganda.

4.9.2. Party work with the mass media should be well thought out, and coordinated at all levels – local, regional and national. It has to involve carefully thought out, well-directed and persistent daily initiatives, setting out the PCP's stances and initiatives, and identifying members who are best suited for these tasks. This work must overcome the defeatist tendencies – that arise from the systematic silencing, discrimination, distortions, and even caricatures that are spread about the Party and its work. At the same time we must expose lies and protest whenever the situation warrants it, and the same time inform and debate about the interests and reasons behind the class motivations of mass media owners, and about how these interests lie behind the contents they convey.

4.9.3. The importance of electronic communication and of internet-based communication is now obvious. While not overstating their undeniable potential and at the same time not ignoring the global overall control that big capital yields over them, they are a vehicle of participation in the Party's multifaceted work of propaganda, communication and information. Our work in this area must be considered a whole line of work, one that requires debate, structure and organisation. It must be viewed as one of the party's overall political goals – and take into account the specific requirements of this type of communication with its distinctive features: its form and its timing.

4.9.3.1. The PCP was the first political party in Portugal to be present on the Internet, and its site – www.pcp.pt – continues to play a significant (albeit limited if compared with the party's overall political work) role in publicising the party's stances and activities. Besides the central website, the PCP has also maintained, among others, specific web pages dedicated to elections, to the birth centennial of Álvaro Cunhal, as well as to the Party press and to the Avante! Festival.

4.9.3.2. Measures have been taken to benefit from the potential that these media offer, but there is still a need to assess how well the existing resources are being used, taking into account the experience of Internet usage generally, and of social networks in particular. The creation of new media channels and the maintenance of existing ones require greater involvement from the party's organisations and the Party collective as a whole, to make it possible to reach out more through those media. Making better use of outreach potential requires that efforts be made to educate members about the demanding task of internet information and propaganda. It requires an outreach strategy that can make it possible to address specific groups, to coordinate local, regional and central work, and to project a coherent image and content. It implies coordinating the presence of the PCP as such and of individual communists on the Internet's social networks.

4.9.4. The party press – Avante! [weekly paper] and O Militante [organisation publication] – is an irreplaceable element in the Party's work.

4.9.4.1. In the political environment within which communists and their party operate, reading and spreading Avante! and O Militante are particularly important tasks: they convey the party's stances, analyses and guidelines – both national and international – in the battle of ideas, they help members acquire knowledge and be better prepared to inform others, they provide information about workers' and peoples' struggles.

The party press is very important in connecting the Party with the masses. It connects party members, sympathisers, and other democrats, and it serves to extend the party's influence. So expanding its readership and outreach is one essential party-building task for all party organisations.

4.9.4.2. At a time where big capital runs most mass media to serve its own interests, the Party's central paper Avante! plays a key role in providing information as well as political and ideological insights. Measures must be taken to assign more responsibilities to members, to ensure that more members and committees are spreading it, have more sales stalls and public street sales – so as to win over more regular readers and buyers – as well as to expand its internet presence. Special sales of Avante! dealing with current topics and the struggle of ideas, should be maintained.

Improving connections and cooperation with Party organisations – submitting news, suggestions or information – is a contribution to help diversify contents and address current affairs.

4.9.4.3. O Militanteis an informational publication dealing with enhancement of political and ideological knowledge, as well as with organisational issues. It too deserves more concern to make it be better publicised and more widely read.

4.9.5. At a time when the publication of books is suffering in Portugal, party-influenced publication activities should be supported. They should be better publicised with more initiatives, with the involvement of organisations and members, and with the use of new technological capabilities. They should be part of a line of more intensive political, cultural and ideological work.

4.9.5.1. As concerns publications, we should continue to publish the classic works of Marxism-Leninism and the Selected works of Álvaro Cunhal, as well as others that address current topics.

4.9.5.2. Avante! Publishers is an essential component of publication work, and should continue to dynamise its own activities in coordination with the Party's work.

4.9.6. The Avante! Festival – a festival of youth, workers and the people – whose 40th instance was held this year with great success, is an important gathering where the April [1974 revolution's] values and the Party's views and goals are asserted. It is a very good example of collective work and of the PCP'a ability to get things done.

4.9.6.1. The 40th

Avante!

Festival benefited from an enlarged area, now encompassing the [recently purchased] Quinta do Cabo. This purchase was an important event that opened up new prospects to further improve and enhance the festival. It is important to consolidate it and go further in future years.

4.9.6.2. As a venue for art, culture, enjoyment and mingling, fraternity, participation and struggle, the Avante! Festival has throughout its 40 incarnations developed features that should be expanded and improved, with input from the Party collective and from the many thousands of friends and visitors that attend.

4.9.6.3. Using the new potential created the larger area that the Festival now enjoys, it is important to continue enhancing it, adding new attractions, creating better conditions for its consumers and visitors, prioritising publicisation of the Festival and sales of EPs [entry coupons] – expressions of solidarity and engagement to participate – and ensuring success for the Festival.

4.10. Funds

4.10.1. The PCP's political and ideological independence goes hand-in-hand with its financial autonomy.

4.10.2. Party financing based on its own strengths and resources – based on the Party's initiatives and functioning, on the decisive financial contribution of members and supporters, of working people, of democrats – is a vital issue to ensure that the PCP can be active in serving workers, the people, and the Nation.

4.10.3. To achieve financial balance, raise our financial capabilities, and maintain the PCP's class-based nature and political and ideological independence, it is essential to increase our income, as part of a disciplined and well-organised effort to raise funds, overcoming obstacles and making good use of all existing opportunities.

4.10.4. Given the difficulties that have been imposed upon Portugal's workers and people, it is essential that our organisations and members get involved in implementing this unparalleled and unique feature of our Party – overcoming obstacles, especially those those that were introduced by the Law on Political Parties and Campaign Financing that established a set of anti-democratic rules that were clearly aimed at affecting the Party and the [PCP's annual] Avante! Festival.

These unacceptable rules of interference have been further aggravated by a succession of regulations, concepts and abusive interpretations, and by a growing number of discretionary measures taken by the Entity for Political Financing and Accounts (ECFP) that have triggered a number of unacceptable fines that constitute unacceptable interferences targeting the party's activities and organisation. The PCP has been the prime target of attacks and public campaigns abetted by the ECFP.

The PCP will continue to fight the Law on Financing, demanding its repeal and replacement – from the high ground of those who stand for clear and transparent rules on political party finances. We will not accept a law whose goal is to prevent the existence of parties that want to protect their financial autonomy with respect to the State and to public entities, by setting barriers to self-financing based on political activities and on militancy.

The Party's property, and the way it has been protected for decades – through fund-raising campaigns by members and friends, through the participation of many members in building and maintaining facilities, as well as through donations – is itself a distinctive feature of the PCP in Portuguese society. This property – in particular the local party offices, the grounds that host the Avante! Festival, and other support structures – is essential to the Party's work serving workers, the people and the Nation, as well as part and parcel of its political and ideological independence.

We staunchly refute the ongoing attack against the PCP concerning its property – involving slander and false claims about its origin and nature. It is one part of a more wide-ranging goal: to condition and hinder the PCP's work.

4.10.5. The 19th Party Congress established as goals: cutting back or not raising expenses, reducing the Regional Organisations' dependence on Central funds, so as to ensure financial balance without having to resort to extraordinary income.

4.10.6. In analysing the period since the 19th Congress, which includes 2011-2015 accounts, the financial results yield a negative balance of 1.082 million euros, which means that the situation has worsened and it has been impossible to overcome the unsustainable financial situation identified at the last Congress.

4.10.6.1. The extraordinary and institutional resources did increase and so did their relative share. While this is not in itself a negative factor, it did drive us further from the goal of not having to depend on this income.

In fact, it was only by resorting to this kind of income (property management, subventions, among others) that it was possible to overcome the deficit and achieve an overall balance of 1.261 million euros over 4 years. Even so, 2012 and 2014 were negative years.

4.10.6.2. The regional organisations' position is still generally in deficit, and there was no decrease of dependence on central funds – this made it impossible to increase the number of organisations that contribute to central funds, and to reduce the number of those who receive support subsidies from central funds.

4.10.6.3. It should be stressed that in the years under consideration, a remarkable effort was made toward increasing overall income and reducing expenses.

4.10.6.3.1. Concerning income: the value of dues payments has increased in the last two years, as a result of efforts to contact Party members; contributions by contributors to the National Fundraising Campaign was of considerable value in 2014 and 2015; contributions from members elected to public office has remained stable throughout these four years; there has been a somewhat significant decline in funds from fundraising activities. Own income makes up 90% of total income.

4.10.6.3.2. In terms of expenses there was an overall drop, that did not reduce the Party's work and initiatives.

4.10.7. The National Fundraising Campaign More area, More festival, a Future with April that ran from October 2014 to April 2016, and whose goal was to finance the acquisition of the Quinta do Cabo to extend and improve the Avante! Festival grounds, was a significant political and financial success. The raising of over 1.2 million euros was not just proof of support and recognition toward the Avante! Festival and what it stands for. It clearly showed the potential that exists to improve income, particularly contributions, and to increase financial resources – politically very meaningful in terms of political and ideological independence.

4.10.8. Priorities in terms of fundraising are:

4.10.8.1. Improving the financial capabilities and financial balance of the Party and its organisations, by guaranteeing more own income, and thus less dependence of organisations on support from central funds, and a relatively smaller role for from conjunctural and institutional sources.

4.10.8.2. Reducing or not raising expenses – in particular those that are not directly involved in political activities or organisational capabilities – such as operational expenses, as well as changing styles of work that lead to waste or improper use of resources.

4.10.8.3. Ensuring the sustainability of commitments made, by previously guaranteeing the necessary financial requirements and own resources for all activities – including electoral battles and election campaigns – without running into dependence on subventions or jeopardising the Party's future activities.

4.10.8.4. Creating, operating and activating structures to monitor financial matters – fundraising, financial checks and reporting – and assigning more members to take charge of the various funding-related tasks.

4.10.8.5. Drawing up budgets with expense forecasts and income goals, with budget control and regularly monitoring the financial situation.

4.10.8.6. As part of the Party's general work, to better acknowledge the contribution of party leaders and members who work on dues collection, fundraising and financial monitoring.

4.10.8.7. Enhance debate and understanding among Party organisations and members on financial matters and their importance for the Party's political and ideological independence.

4.10.8.8. Making good use of all potential actions that – in the midst of existing constraints and difficulties – can overcome bottlenecks, raise Party income, and in particular the income that comes from its own work, initiatives and actions and from stronger organisation. Specifically:

4.10.8.8.1. Payment of dues is not just a basic duty, it is also an important link between a member and the party. In this respect, it is important: for all members to take it upon themselves to regularly pay dues and be informed about how and to whom the payment is to be made; to expand the list of comrades charged with dues collection, aiming at having about one for every twenty party members; to continue to make good use of dues payment through automatic bank payments or ATM; work toward raising the dues contribution using a benchmark of 1% of salary or monthly income.

4.10.8.8.2. Contributions from Party members, sympathisers and other friends can be the result of one-time special contributions, or they can be more regular – as was the case in the National Fundraising Campaign to purchase the Quinta do Cabo [grounds], where it is necessary to organise lists of comrades and friends to be contacted, with audacity, overcoming routine behaviours and assessing who is most suited to establish such a contact.

4.10.8.8.3. Fundraising campaigns for specific actions or general Party needs can themselves become mass fundraisers. Campaigns such as the “One day of salary for the Party” campaign are to be continued, ensuring that they are followed up by central and regional leadership bodies, to ensure that the Party organisations are involved and that more income is collected.

4.10.8.8.4. Contributions from members who are elected to public office, or appointed by the Party as its representatives, should be followed as best possible, following the party rules according to which no one should either benefit or be negatively affected by it, as well as ensuring that the relevant amounts are clearly set, as are the schedules and methods of regular payment.

4.10.8.8.5. Income from participation in polling stations at elections [is also contributed]. This is an aspect that is unique to Party members, and follows the rule of "no one should either benefit or be negatively affected" as happens with other Party tasks.

4.10.8.8.6. Sales of Avante! and O Militante are also sources of income, and care must be taken to ensure that orders are fulfilled, and that regular or extraordinary sales are improved.

4.10.9. Continuing the policy of getting the most possible benefit from Party property. Analyse the situation of all local offices taking into account needs and capabilities.

4.11. International activity and internationalist action

4.11.1. The PCP has assigned high priority to the establishment of bilateral contacts with communist parties and other progressive forces. It has participated in congresses, conferences, seminars, study visits, festivals and solidarity events in several countries – highlights being the delegations led by the General Secretary to Spain, China,. Cyprus, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam.

4.11.1.1. It has contributed toward the International Meetings of Communist and Workers' Parties process – having hosted the 15th IMCWP in Lisbon in 2013 – endeavoring to find ways to best favour unity in action within the international communist and revolutionary movement.

4.11.1.2. It worked toward the Joint Appeal at the European Parliament 2014 election, and toward asserting the GUE/NGL confederal group's principles at the European Parliament.

4.11.1.3. It attended the São Paulo Forum, the Latin American Progressive Meeting, participated in events organised by the peace and solidarity movements and other forums, thus contributing to strengthen the anti-imperialist front.

4.11.1.4. It welcomed parties from various countries and continents to Portugal, including especially the regular presence of dozens of delegations at the “Avante!” Festivals, and in 2014 at the International Seminar on «The Portuguese Revolution and the Situation in Europe and the World 40 years later».

4.11.1.5. It took public stands on various international issues – having taken the initiative in the adoption of common stances by communist parties – and has sought to regularly publish information about its position (including English-language pages on the PCP's web site).

4.11.2. The PCP's work must include active involvement in the ideological struggle, contributions toward a stronger international communist and revolutionary movement, and the anti-imperialist front that stands for peace, sovereignty, and solidarity with peoples fighting against exploitation – and putting forward socialism as the necessary and feasible alternative to capitalism.

★★★

4.12.1. The 20th PCP Congress is being held at an extremely demanding time in national and international politics. It is especially important to establish the direction and lines of action that will guide the future work of Portugal's communists.

4.12.2. After having imposed – through the workers' struggles and the PCP's work – a defeat on the PSD/CDS-PP [right-wing] government, the issue that stands before us is to create a path and policies that will break with right-wing policies and ensure a future with development, justice and social progress.

4.12.3. The present time shows us how necessary it is to, courageously and forcefully, embark upon another path that can fulfill workers' and people's aspirations. And above all, it shows us that Portugal's needs and its sovereign development must not be shackled to impositions from abroad or to monopoly capital's interests.

4.12.4. Real life shows us that the only alternative path is to break with the last four decades' right-wing policies and to implement alternative – patriotic and left-wing – policies.

4.12.4.1. The patriotic and left-wing policies being advanced by the PCP are not just an alternative response to the direction of events that has been imposed by decades of right-wing policies. They are above all an urgent necessity: ensuring a future for Portugal with more rights, more production, more jobs and better wages, and with sovereignty and independence.

4.12.4.2. These alternative policies that Portugal needs will have to be attained through the participation and struggle of workers and the people, by mobilising the will of all democrats and patriots, by strengthening the PCP.

4.12.4.3. It is this process of struggle and creation that Portugal's communists will be called upon to build and establish in the near future. Based on its unflinching loyalty to workers and the people, asserting its communist identity, honouring its status and past as a patriotic and internationalist party, the PCP will spare no efforts to ensure that Portugal becomes a democratic, developed and sovereign nation, and will continue to strongly assert its programme and view of the future, in the struggle for an advanced democracy with the April [1974 revolution's] values present in Portugal's future, with socialism and communism on the horizon.

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  • XX Congresso do PCP
  • Central
XX Congresso do PCP