The Central Committee of the PCP met on February 18 and 19, and assessed the international situation, the national social and political situation and the development of the mass struggle. It is a long report but has many insights.

In the context of implementing the decisions and guidelines of the 20th Congress, it assessed aspects of the Party’s activity, political initiative and strengthening. It debated and defined the goals and the main guidelines for the local elections, confirming the CDU [alliance] and its project of work, honesty and competence.

I. Intervention, struggle, alternative

The national situation is conditioned by external and internal factors that reveal the country’s economic vulnerability, the risks arising from it and the unpredictability of its future evolution. Among them, international factors, relating to the inauguration of the new US Administration and its political, economic and trade implications; to the European Union’s ever more powerful mechanisms of domination, or the new “financing” rules announced by the ECB; or to the elements of instability and continuing war in various parts of the world.

The country’s vulnerabilities, as well as the Socialist Party Government’s choice not to break with the external constraints and the interests of monopoly capital, confirm that only by breaking with right-wing policies is it possible to open the path to economic development, social progress and to asserting national interests.Valuing the gains made in the new phase of national political life, with the recovery of income and rights, the Central Committee of the PCP underlines the need to confront the limitations and constraints that hinder new and more significant advances.

This goal necessarily requires a stronger PCP, with its organization, political action and influence, and the vigorous development of the mass struggle converging towards the creation of a broad social front encompassing workers, antimonopoly sectors and strata, democrats and patriots, in a joint action with the goal of materializing a patriotic and left-wing policy and the political alternative that may achieve it.

II – The international situation and the defense of national interests

1. The international situation continues to be marked by great instability and uncertainty, in the context of a deepening structural crisis of capitalism, the violent onslaught of imperialism, a vast and complex process of reorganization of forces at the international level, and the resistance struggle of the peoples.

The more recent developments, involving the major capitalist powers and imperialist articulation structures, carry with them great risks for the workers and peoples.The inauguration of the new US Administration and its implications for international relations which are still difficult to predict; the positioning of big capital and of the European Union regarding the United Kingdom’s exit process; developments in the European Union and the traits of economic and financial instability in its core powers (such as Germany, France or Italy); the reactionary drifts and the growth of xenophobic, racist and fascist forces in the capitalist centers; the imperialist offensive in Latin America and the interventionism of the EU and NATO in Africa; the expansion and deployment of NATO military forces in Eastern Europe; the accentuation of several lines of imperialist confrontation aimed at countries such as the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation or Iran; operations of destabilization and war in various parts of the world, notably in the Middle East, such as the wars of imperialist aggression in Syria and Yemen and the criminal action of Israel against the Palestinian people; terrorism, namely State terrorism, resulting from imperialist war policies and the instigation of conflicts – all these are factors that, together with the significant intensification of inter-imperialist rivalries, provide further cause for concern regarding the international situation’s evolution.

In this context, the Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance of the workers’ struggle in defense of their class interests, of the peoples’ struggle for peace, in defense of their rights, interests and aspirations, freedom, democracy and sovereignty, against the imperialist offensive and against reactionary and fascist forces.It expresses its solidarity with all peoples that resist and fight in defense of their rights and sovereignty, namely the peoples of the Middle East and Latin America. It values the actions that have been carried out in Portugal by diverse structures of the peace movement and in solidarity with the peoples in struggle, and calls for their intensification.

2. The initiation in functions of the new President of the United States of America and his administration, gives rise to justifiable concerns. His first decisions and statements point to greater exploitation of workers, more inequality and discriminations that mark U.S. society, and to a foreign policy of domination and interventionism, with warmongering as one of its most serious expressions.Despite new elements in the immediate priorities, discourse and tactics of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy, the PCP’s Central Committee stresses that, essentially, it is in continuity with the strategic line and class interests of previous US administrations, pursuing the same goal of counteracting the decline of the United States’ world hegemony and preserving the most serious, reactionary and dangerous elements of US imperialist policy.

Just as Donald Trump’s election was the result of a deep domestic economic and social crisis in the United States and of the growing contradictions between sectors of big capital, so too is its foreign policy a response to the growing inter-imperialist contradictions and rivalries, resulting from the deepening structural crisis of capitalism and the growing imperialist disputes over spheres of influence and domination.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP denounces the campaigns of political and ideological diversion emanating from various imperialist centers which, taking advantage of just feelings of indignation against the policies of the Trump Administration and exploiting the consequences and dangers arising from the imperialist offensive itself, are characterized by a profound hypocrisy and manipulation. This is the case with the campaigns about US “isolationism” and “protectionism” and the “indignation” of several European Union officials against the xenophobic and inhumane measures of the Trump administration regarding refugees and migrants – the same officials who in the European Union are carrying out twin policies of the measures that are now being adopted in the USA.Such campaigns are not driven by the defense of peoples’ interests or humanistic values. Their backdrop is  the contradictions between imperialist powers, namely between the USA and the European Union. They express the ruling classes’ concerns about their own interests and the “stability” of the mechanisms of imperialist articulation and coordination at regional and world level. They aim at whitewashing the role of the Obama Administration and at safeguarding the continuity of the fundamental axes of their policy. They seek to pave the way for a greater and faster assertion of the European Union as an imperialist pole, stepping up its interventionist and militaristic policy. And they aim to strengthen NATO and promote the militarization of the European Union.

In this context, the Central Committee of the PCP draws particular attention to the ideological approach to criticism of alleged US “isolationism” and “protectionism”. These concepts, applied to the world’s greatest economic power and to the main global financial center of capitalism, are political and ideological maneuvers associated with the reorganization and defense of capitalist globalization and the interests which it serves, in the new and not stabilized conditions of a world realignment of forces. They simultaneously aim at attacking all those who defend sovereignty and the right to economic and social development as one of the central axes of resistance to this capitalist globalization and of fighting domination by the main imperialist powers, including the USA.

4. Within the framework of persistent vectors of instability in the European continent and of insoluble contradictions inherent to the process of capitalist integration in Europe, the PCP Central Committee draws attention to the succession of summits and meetings at European Union level which, together with the ideological campaign surrounding the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaties and the instrumentalization of various “external dangers”, aim to complete the previously attempted guidelines to sustain and strengthen the pillars and policies of the European Union. As the PCP warned, the so-called “Summits of Southern European countries” revealed, not an alternative vision for cooperation between countries with converging situations and interests, but rather an instrument of political camouflage for the new leaps forward of a federalist nature, to preserve and extend the instruments of the European Union – notably the euro and the Single Market – and to emphasize the militaristic, securitarian and interventionist aspects of the European Union, with emphasis on the Mediterranean basin, the African continent and Eastern Europe.It is a dangerous delusion to think that national interests are defended within the framework of a stronger European Union. The European Union and the euro signify brutal constraints against national interests. Strengthening the European Union and the euro will not bring a solidarity that has never existed, but will reinforce the prevalence of the interests of the main powers of the European Union, within the context of an international dispute and negotiation, to the detriment of, and even sacrificing, the interests of Portugal and its people.

5. The PCP’s Central Committee reaffirms its opposition to free trade agreements, that counter national interests and resources, as well as labor, social, environmental and public health rights. In view of the adoption by the majority of the European Parliament of CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada), the PCP calls for the intensification of the struggle against this agreement and will oppose, in the Assembly of the Republic, its ratification by the Portuguese State.

6. The PCP Central Committee stresses that the growing instability and contradictions of the capitalist system, the developments in the European Union and the enormous dangers arising from the imperialist offensive demand a profound change in the main guidelines of Portuguese foreign policy and a profound reflection regarding the central axes of defending national interests, security, independence and sovereignty.

Contrary to a foreign policy marked by dependence and submission to the European Union and NATO and to narrowing, or subordinating, our relations to the transatlantic axis and its interests, what the developments in the international situation and in the European Union show, is the need for a patriotic policy that provides the country with sovereign instruments, including a foreign diplomatic, economic and defense policy, that guarantees the preservation of economic, food, energy and other aspects of sovereignty; that opens new and diversified lines of cooperation and economic relationship, of financing and foreign trade; that guarantees a policy of peace and cooperation, independent and oriented towards strengthening the country’s own defense capacity.

Asserting a patriotic and left-wing foreign policy is a central instrument in defending the rights of the workers and the people, and the sovereignty and independence of Portugal, in the face of external developments or dynamics that are contrary to the national interest.

III – Developments in the national political situation and the need for a left-wing, patriotic policy

1. The current situation of the workers, the people and the country is characterized by problems that have accumulated over the years as a result of decades of right-wing policies. These problems were compounded by the consequences of the policies of destruction led by the PSD/CDS government and imposed by the Pact of Aggression signed by these parties and by PS with the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB. The Pact intensified an ongoing process of exploitation and impoverishment of the country that has had long-lasting consequences and the effects of which must now be addressed and overcome.

The data regarding economic growth in the 4th quarter of 2016 (1,9% – one of the highest rates in recent quarters), while falling short of what the country requires, reflects the positive impact of the policy aimed at reinstating people’s incomes, but it also reflects the impact of certain options of macroeconomic policy (budget consolidation, addressing the deficit, servicing public debt) and their negative consequences for the economic growth that is necessary to ensure the country’s development.

The real situation in the banking sector continues to be of concern, namely the monoplistic domination by foreign capital of the national banks, the volume of non-performing loans, the continuing concentration of banks across Europe – of which the purchase of BPI by Caixa Bank is but an example – and the increase in the fees charged by banks for theirs services which negatively affect the population in general and the country’s economy. It is a situation that PSD and CDS seek to aggravate with their political manipulation of parliamentary inquiry committees, with a view to achieving the privatisation of Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

The rate of unemployment remains high. In real terms, over 1 million workers are unemployed, despite an increase in job creation and a fall in the rate of unemployment over the last year. Casual labour continues to be a widespread phenomenon and there are more than twice as many precarious contracts than effective contracts among new contracts. Low wages are still widespread, with over 30% of hired workers being paid less than 600€ per month.

The Central Committee of PCP draws attention to the situation in public services, which face staff shortages, lack of maintenance and of investment. This has serious consequences in sectors such as: in education, where schools face many shortages; in the health sector, particularly in the emergency services of the National Health Service; in public transportation, particularly in metropolitan areas; in the postal services, where there are growing conflicts between the private shareholders of CTT and the interests of its workers and the population in general; in strategic sectors – such as energy, motorways, airports, etc. – which have since been privatised and placed at the service of big capital. The policies being implemented in these sectors not only represent increasing costs for families and businesses, as became clear at the beginning of the year, but are also constraining the investment that the country requires.

2. PCP has repeatedly pointed out that Portugal’s vulnerability vis-à-vis external circumstances that it does not control, nor is prepared to address, cannot be ignored. Variables such as the price of oil, the exchange rates of the euro and the US dollar or external pressure on food and energy supplies represent serious threats for the country. Having lost its monetary sovereignty and being totally dependent from policy decisions made by the ECB or the blackmail of rating agencies that influence rates of interest, Portugal is not only dependent on external factors, but also constrained in its inalienable right to a sovereign development and social progress.

Recent developments such as fluctuations in the interest rates on Portugal’s public debt and the decision by rating agencies to keep its «junk» status, together with new threats from the Eurogroup and the pressure by OECD for Portugal to undertake so-called structural reforms, as well as demands for greater «budget consolidation» show that it is impossible to defend Portugal’s interests without addressing the issues of the debt and of the euro, and without recovering the tools that ensure economic, budgetary and monetary sovereignty. Reality shows that the agenda of wealth concentration, impoverishment and decline that the capitalist centres want to force upon Portugal remains very much alive, even as unacceptable external rules and constraints continue to be imposed upon Portugal.

As the PCP has insisted time and again, the country’s key issues are not a budget deficit that has been repeatedly used to impose cuts in public expenditure, restrictions to social rights and an assault on people’s wages and income, but rather an unsustainable debt that prevents investment and uses up the country’s resources and wealth.The country does not have to submit to further measures of budget consolidation that hinder its development.

Portugal has already achieved a primary budget surplus (excluding the interest paid on debt) in excess of 4 thousand million [billion] euros.As the PCP has reiterated, what the country requires are policies that will guarantee investment, an increase in national production (in particular, with a view to securing food and energy sovereignty) and that will generate jobs.These goals are inseparable from the need to free the country from its subjection to the euro and its rules, the renegotiation of the debt and public control of the banking sector, as well as an independent and sovereign foreign policy based on cooperation and peace.

3. In its current new political phase, the country has witnessed positive developments in safeguarding, reinstating and achieving rights. Such positive developments have interrupted the decline and the intensification of exploitation and impoverishment imposed on people by the PSD/CDS government.The PCP Central Committee values everything that was achieved with the decisive struggle of the workers and the people, with the PCP’s intervention.

It values the measures adopted in the State Budgets for 2016 e 2017 and beyond that, the legislative framework which reinstated national holidays; the reinstatement of the 35-hour working week in public administration; the repeal of wage cuts and of the surcharge in income tax; the reinstatement of the 13% VAT rate for restaurants; the increase in old-age pensions; the extension and increase in the value of child benefits; the unfreezing of, and increase in, meal allowances for civil servants; the reinstatement of the right to collective bargaining in State-owned enterprises; the reinstatment in full, as of 2018, of the Christmas allowance for pensioners and workers in public administration, and the new prospects for future pensions in the case of longer contributory careers.

It also values other measures that have improved the situation that existed prior to the Pact of Aggression, namely the reduction in the so-called ‘special tax pre-payments’ (Pagamento Especial por Conta, PEC) for more than 120,000 micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses, the financial support provided to fuel prices for fishermen and farmers and the extension of the programme to provide free textbooks to 370,000 primary schoolchildren.

While demanding from the Government that it remains faithful to all the commitments made in this year’s State Budget, the PCP will continue to act with a view to ensuring that the new prospects come to fruition.The advances that have been achieved further strengthen our belief that the interests of the country and a comprehensive solution to the difficulties that it faces require a different set of policies, namely patriotic and left-wing policies.

4. Despite the positive decisions that were taken under the initiative, or with the contribution, of the PCP and which are inseparable from the current balance of forces, the PS Government has adopted a series of other measures that go against an alternative policy aimed at addressing the country’s difficulties and at asserting national sovereignty. Examples include: the agreement with the bosses’ confederations and UGT in the social conciliation body; the refusal to repeal the provisions on the expiry of collective bargaining agreements and the non-adoption of the principle of the most-favourable treatment, thus refusing to reject this and other very negative provisions in the labour code and the labour legislation applicable to Public Administration; the disclosure that PPPs will be renewed in the health sector; the handing-over of the management of [the Lisbon and Oporto bus companies] CARRIS and STCP to the municipalities; the preference for handing-over Novo Banco to big business, whether immediately or in the future; the strategy to extend the legal status of ‘foundations’ to more higher education institutions; the announcement that public services and social functions of the central State will be transferred to local authorities; the liberalisation of taxi services; the proposed changes to the law regulating trade union activities in the police force (PSP); the so-called reform of the forestry sector and the policy options regarding territorial cohesion and development; the foreign and defense policy options in support of a stronger NATO and European Union.

5. The PCP, committed as it is to the workers, the people and the country, will pursue its activity, aware of the existing possibilities and of the need to address aspirations and rights, but without ignoring the limitations, constraints and contradictions in the current political situation, which recent developments have brought to the fore. Developments that have to do with PS’s policy options confirming its unwillingness to break with right-wing policies and reflecting its links to big capital; with the strategy pursued by PSD, and also by CDS, to whitewash their recent past, to exact revenge for their removal from power, to de-stabilise the country and to attack or put pressure on PCP; with the insistence on «regime pacts» or on a «broad consensus» on many issues that, in pratical terms, would ensure that in key decisions and structural matters, the interests and objectives of the so-called «central bloc» prevail.The PCP will not decide on its actions as a result of pressure of any kind, nor will it base its activity and assessments on circumstantial maneouvering.

The PCP will not gratuitously waste the political possibilities and prospects that were created with the new balance of forces.The PCP will not contribute to an attitude of apathy and conformism that in any way curtails the irreplaceable role of the struggle of workers and people in general to defend, reinstate and conquer rights and bring about a new course for the country.The PCP will not condone right-wing policies and their political options, regardless of where they come from nor will it renounce its struggle to put forward and promote its proposals and political project .

6. The Central Committee of PCP underlines that the advances and achievements that were brought about were only possible with a balance of forces where the PS does not have, on its own, a parliamentary majority to support its government. These advances and achievements went beyond what the PS had included in its political programme and were only brought about by the activity and struggle of the workers and people, and by the decisive initiative, contribution and influence of the PCP. These advances and positive developments were never achieved, and would never have been achieved, by a PS government with a [parliamentary] majority of its own.The PCP reaffirms its determination and commitment to the workers and the people, and will continue working and contributing to safeguard, reinstate and win incomes and rights.

IV – The importance of mass struggle in the current political and social context

The seriousness of the problems confronting the Portuguese people requires a break with right-wing policies and the development of the workers’ and people’s struggles to bring about the necessary changes.The Central Committee of the PCP, while acknowledging the existence of more favourable conditions to address the immediate issues faced by the workers and the people, stresses the irreplaceable role and value of the mass struggle, not only with a view to consolidating achievements but also to bringing about new advances that will provide solutions to the probems and aspirations of the workers and the people.

The Central Committee of the PCP welcomes the struggles by the workers and communities across the country: In Public Administration, against casual labour and for the recruitment of thousands of professionals that are required to address staff shortages, for the unblocking of professional careers and wages, in particular the struggles undertaken by technical staff in the health sector and by non-teaching staff in the education sector. It also welcomes the struggles undertaken in many companies in the private sector with a view to addressing workers’ specific demands, viz.: SAMS, PT/Porto, Metalorigor, EDP’s call centres, Groz-Beckert, CAMO, Euroresinas, Petrogal, EFATM, Ar liquido, Valindo/Fafe, CROWNE PLAZZA, SUCH, Teleperfomance’s call centre, MGM, Jumbo supermarket in Almada, among others, as well as in the security/surveillance and cleaning sectors .The struggle against casual labour was identified by the PCP as a priority for its activity in the country’s new political phase, in particular as regards labour contracts in Public Administration. This struggle has gradually been gaining momentum and become more widespread, as a result of a greater awareness of the need to put an end to this national scourge.

The identification of the workers who have precarious contractual arrangements in Public Administration is certainly an important step, but a greater involvement on the part of workers is required to find a definitive solution for the problem.The Central Committee of the PCP also highlights the scale and diverse nature of the struggles carried out by communities in different regions of the country, demanding better services, namely in the health and transport sectors. Also noteworthy are the struggles of students and parents against the poor conditions and staff shortages in many schools.The Central Committee of the PCP underlines the importance of ongoing mass actions and calls upon Party members to get involved in their planning and execution, in particular: the development of struggles in workplaces, companies and sectors focused on specific demands; the national demonstration of women, convened by MDM for March 11 in Lisbon; the equality week (March 6 to 10) and the roadmap against casual labour being promoted by CGTP/IN; the celebrations of March 24, national students’ day, and of March 28, national youth day, and in particular the national demonstration by young workers against casual labour that was convened by CGTP-IN / Interjovem; the popular celebrations of the 43rd anniversary of the April Revolution and, in particular, the May 1st commemorations, with the mobilisation of workers in companies and sectors around specific demands, thus making the date an important day of struggle for workers.

The Central Committee also emphasizes the importance of the trade union conferences and elections that will take place, as well as of the 20th National Meeting of workers’ councils that will be held in Lisbon on June, 2;The Central Committee of the PCP stresses the important role of communists in the activities and the strengthening of mass movements and organisations and their struggles, as a decisive contribution to the development of mass struggle, but also for the development of a broader convergence of the various anti-monopolistic sectors and social groups, of democrats and patriots, in the fight for patriotic and left-wing policies and to bring about a political alternative.

V – Local elections.

Affirming CDU and its project of work, honesty and competence.

1. The local government elections are a priority in the framework of the Party’s general activity. Their preparation should be seen as a moment and opportunity to expand unity, to assert the CDU’s importance and its project, to act and become better acquainted with local problems and aspirations, which will contribute to a greater rooting and social and political influence of the PCP. It is also time to ensure, with the CDU’s electoral growth, a more decisive contribution to tackle and solve local problems, to strengthen the PCP and its decisive role in defending, restoring and winning more income and rights, and responding, as part of the patriotic and left policy it proposes, to the problems of the workers, the people and the country.

2. The PCP presents itself in these elections within the framework of CDU – United Democratic Coalition, PCP-PEV, which incorporates on a political level the Portuguese Communist Party, the Ecologist Party «The Greens» and the Democratic Intervention Association. Its goals are to present candidates for all municipal institutions and in the largest possible number of parishes. It asserts itself as a space of broad intervention and civic participation of thousands of men and women with no party affiliation, who recognize the CDU for its work, honesty and competence and identify with its privileged arena of intervention and contribution towards local progress and development. An arena that has its own project and identity, that refuses to hide behind falsely «independent» projects that, under the guise of citizen’s lists, usually conceal masked coalitions, party machinations or the promotion of personal ambitions or big economic interests.

CDU presents, throughout the whole country, its alternative project and the distinctive nature of its local action. Highlighting the values of Work, Honesty and Competence, based on accomplished work and on its activity in defense of the interests of communities and the workers, of recognized rigor and exemption in the management of municipalities and the attitude of its elected officials, of activity in defense of public services and to assert Democratic Local Government.

In the new phase of national political life, it is more important to distinctly assert the CDU project, the differentiating character of its proposals and options, the clear alternative to the management and projects of other political forces, be they the PSD and CDS, the PS or BE. The PCP’s political independence of assessment and political action in national political life is extended and expressed in the project and lists that mark the electoral intervention of CDU in the forthcoming local government elections.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP stresses that there is no basis for any alleged correspondence in the current political framework between the national and local level. Firstly because it is abusive to see in the national situation more than the result of a new balance of forces in Parliament and the possibilities that emerged, which should not be wasted. But also, and above all, because feeding illusions regarding solutions of political commitment at a local level (which, in truth, do not exist at a national level), without any correspondence with the proven difference of local projects between the PCP and PS, would only serve to blur and confound distinct options that should be embodied with clarity and sincerity.

We have a distinctive presence, given our project and accomplished work. Distinctive in the coherent activity in defense of local government, its autonomy, its financial, organizational and human means and resources, to which it is constitutionally entitled in order to carry out its mandate and powers. Distinctive in the demand to restore to the people the parishes that were eliminated and for the unequivocal commitment to their reinstatement. Distinctive in the intransigent defense of public services and access to health, education, culture, social protection, housing and mobility. Distinctive in the defense of public management of water. Distinctive in that we value the workers in local government, their rights and working conditions. Distinctive in the clear defense of public management criteria and the refusal of options of privatization forced upon local government. Distinctive in the defense of a planning policy for land use, determined by the rights of communities and not by speculative interests. Distinctive in the defense of decentralization, with the creation of administrative regions that are indispensable for regional development and on the delimitation of powers between the various levels of administration that ensures an effective response to the problems of the populations. Distinctive because, not confusing decentralization with transfer of competencies, it refuses to accept a process of transferring to local government costs and inefficiencies that make the [central] State unaccountable, reduce the public response in essential areas, deteriorate the services provided to the communities, reduce the municipalities’ capacity to respond and achieve, and increase regional asymmetries.

4. The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the following priorities for intervention in the preparation of local elections: the mobilization of CDU and its broad nature; meetings and other initiatives that contribute to a broad involvement of activists and citizens; contacts that extend the support basis of CDU, its project and candidates; the preparation of lists and the choice of candidates; accountability for past work; the participated elaboration of electoral programs and pledges to be made; the general affirmation of CDU as the big left force in local government, which is necessary and indispensable in national political life.

VI – Strengthen the Party organization, intensify its activity and political intervention

1. The great success of the 20th Congress, with its impact on the organization and activity of the Party fosters a strong and diversified activity.The 20th Congress asserted the Party as a force with a patriotic and left policy, a party that mobilizes the struggle of workers and people, an aggregating force of democrats and patriots. It asserted its identity and its Program of advanced democracy with the values of April in the future of Portugal, for a society free from exploitation, socialism and communism. A necessary, indispensable and irreplaceable party, the PCP is the target of successive operations of mystification and slander, as those promoted in the past few months – namely around the centenary of the October Revolution, aiming to promote anti-communist prejudice – which we confront by pursuing and stepping up our activity with persistence and determination.

2. The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the activity to mobilize and organize the workers’ and people’s struggle, the contacts and meetings with structures and entities to debate the national situation and to present the conclusions of the 20th Congress, the political initiative and activity in the institutions.The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the progress of the campaign “More rights, more future. No to precariousness”, the thousands of contacts and its impact. It values its development, the stimulus to the worker’s struggle and the steps already taken to achieve the goal that each permanent job post should correspond to an effective labor contract. A campaign that values work and workers, pursing the campaign of a national minimum wage of 600€ and a general increase in wages, against the deregulation and for less working hours, to defend rights, to defend and impose collective contracts and changes to the labor code and Public Administration labor legislation, with the repeal of serious norms.

The Central Committee of the PCP decided the main guidelines for the campaign «Production, employment, sovereignty. Free Portugal from submission to the euro» that, promoting a broad debate on national production and its increase – namely to guarantee food and energy sovereignty, as a condition for economic independence and the promotion of employment, with the identification of resources, elimination of constraints, and the measures of promotion – will highlight the importance of freeing the country from submission to the euro, together with the renegotiation of the debt and the recovery of public control over banks, in order to confront foreign constraints, recover monetary and budgetary sovereignty, free resources for public investment, improve public services and strengthen the social functions of the State.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP calls for a broad participation in the commemorations of the Party’s 96th anniversary, a moment of coming together, broadening and asserting its identity, its project of democracy and socialism and its internationalist action.The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the campaign promoting Avante! as an important priority in the current situation, given the silencing, manipulation and lies launched against the Party and its project.In the framework of preparing the local elections, the Central Committee of PCP debated the preparation of the PCP’s National Meeting on local elections, to be held on April 8 in the Aula Magna of Lisbon University, highlighting the need for a participated preparation in the Party organizations so as to make the National Meeting one of the high points in preparing this important electoral battle and affirming CDU.The Central Committee of the PCP calls on all Party organizations and members to engage in preparing the Avante! Festival, to be held on September 1, 2 and 3, namely by collectively debating the political and cultural contents, by distributing responsibilities among cadres, by publicizing the Avante! Festival and expanding the militant sale of the Entry Ticket (EPs).

4. The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the need to further, in liaison with political activity, the steps to strengthen the Party, in accordance with the decisions of the 20th Congress, namely:Strengthening leadership work, with a general distribution of responsibilities to cadres.Strengthening the Party in work places, creating new Party cells, strengthening existing ones, their structure, work and activity, and taking new cadre measures necessary to achieve these advances.

The recruitment and integration of new members – in one organization, with one task – with the appeal in Party initiatives, targeted recruitment work and promoting political and ideological education.The activity of grassroots organizations with a view to addressing the problems of workers and communities and promoting mass action, integrating the work of contacting CDU candidates and supporters in the local elections.

Work among specific groups and sectors, defining goals and measures, namely among pensioners, micro, small and medium businessmen, small and medium farmers, intellectuals and cultural workers.Work among the youth and supporting JCP and its Congress to be held on April 1 and 2 in Setúbal.

Paying attention to propaganda structures and their reinforcement.The Party’s financial independence, with regular payment of dues, monitoring due collection of all militants, updating the value of dues with 1% of monthly income as a reference, promoting funding campaigns, as well as ensuring the principle that those who are elected will neither benefit, nor be hindered, in the exercise of their functions and the respect for criteria regarding the payment of work at polling stations.

5. The Central Committee of the PCP highlights the launching of the commemorations of the October Revolution’s centenary, with the great opening event held in Lisbon, and stresses the need to pursue, materialize and expand the program of initiatives throughout the country, under the theme “Centenary of the October Revolution: socialism, a requirement of the present and for the future”, in which we highlight the cycle of debates, the seminar in Lisbon on June 17, the expression in the Avante! Festival, the rally on November 7 in Lisbon, and the closing event on December 9 in Porto.

The Central Committee of PCP highlights the importance of marking in 2018, following the centenary of the October Revolution, the II centennial of the birth of Karl Marx, the legacy of his work and activity, that affirms itself in our times in the great goal of transforming the world. In the course of the program to be developed, PCP will hold a Commemorative Conference of the II Centennial of Karl Marx, on February 24 and 25, 2018.

At a time in which capitalism, with its exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature, highlights its contradictions and sees its structural crisis worsen, the PCP reaffirms to the workers and people its commitment and pursues its confident and determined action to confront problems and obstacles, for a patriotic and left policy, an advanced democracy with the values of April in the future of Portugal, for socialism and communism.