The decisions of the European Council meeting and the Euro Zone summit confirm a path of increasing exploitation of workers and peoples, of concentration and centralization of capital – with the transfer of a colossal amount of public resources to monopolies, in particular to the financial sector –, the strengthening of colonial-type intervention in countries with more fragile and dependent economies, like Portugal.
The conclusions of these summits, the form in which they were reached, the direct participation in the discussions of the IMF and structures representing financial capital, and their capacity for blocking and conditioning decisions that should be taken by the governments of sovereign states confirm the actual main objective of the decisions: to safeguard the interests of the banking sector and big financial capital in the context of complete failure of previous policies and so-called anti-crisis measures. The scandalous multi-millionaire program of “recapitalization of the banking sector”, forged to continue feeding the gigantic profits of the financial sector, together with new options adopted by the European Financial Stability Facility and their optimization, essentially represent a transfer, direct and indirect, of colossal sums of public money to the banking sector. This aims to compensate for possible “losses” resulting from the predictable “cut” in the Greek debt and holes created by financial speculation, which is still stimulated by strengthening the “safe rearguard” of financial capital in its speculative manoeuvres on the debt of several countries, like Italy.
The Portuguese Communist Party calls attention to the intensification of the orientations that lead to unemployment, economic recession, destruction of productive capacity, impoverishment of vast sectors of the population, and the process that aims to deliberately transfer upon the workers and peoples of Europe the costs of a crisis for which they bear no responsibility and of which they are the main victims. Particularly severe are the measures that accelerate and deepen the so-called “structural reforms” (i.e., attacks on labor rights; increase in age of retirement; privatization of State Companies, public services and social functions; cuts in wages and social benefits) that represent an incalculable social recession and lead to severe economic problems. Measures which demonstrably, together with the successive austerity measures, are not only destroying the living conditions of peoples, but are deepening the crisis it claims to be fighting, as the Portuguese reality demonstrates. In this context, the invitation to the private banks to “reduce” the Greek debt in 50% of its nominal value does not imply any real restructuring of the hellenic debt in the interest of the Greek people, but rather represents a complete failure of the so-called “adjustment program” and “austerity measures” conducted in that country. This decision has as a counterweight the demand for unacceptable and unsustainable sacrifices from the Greek people over many years, expropriation of nearly all their sovereign decision-making mechanisms, and the pillaging by foreign capital of their main strategic sectors.
PCP alerts to the serious dangers for Portugal as a result of the decisions that aim to destroy the social rights of its people and expropriate their sovereignty. Unweaving the federalist project for the European Union, at the service of the sinister interests of monopolies and the directorate of big powers, these summits decided severe steps, namely: deepening the economic governance in the “European semester” of 2012; deepening the “Euro plus pact”; announcing the commitment of all member states of the Euro zone to enshrine the dictatorship of the deficit into their national legislation and/or constitutions; reaffirming the prior budget check, with “recommendation” of the European Commission on state budgets; in the “continuous supervision” of budget executions, namely by States subjected to troika programs; in the “election” of a “President of the Euro Summit”; among others.
Invoking the crisis for which they themselves contributed, the announcement of an agenda of dangerous modification of Treaties, of subversion of national legislations, of imposition of political and economic control by supranacional structures is particularly meaningful.
PCP reaffirms that each step toward federalism represents a compromise of sovereignty, the strengthening of power monopolies and step backward for the interests of peoples. Less sovereignty, less democracy, less economic and social cohesion, greater danger of war is what can be expected if this path goes forward.
PCP condemns the Portuguese government’s attitude of submission at this summit and contrary to the national interests. A government which, continuing the positions of previous governments aligned with all the negative aspects decided there. It was the interests of the bankers, speculators, big national capital that were represented at this summit by the PSD/CDS government, and not the interests of the workers, farmers, pensioners, small entrepreneurs or the new generations.
Particularly meaningful is the fact that, when we are witnessing a real economic and social catastrophe in the country, when what we needed were measures to boost economic activity and fight unemployment, the conclusions of this summit come up with the threat of new austerity measures.
What we needed was the immediate renegotiation of the Portuguese public debt regarding interest, payment terms and amounts. Instead, the government reaffirmed its commitment to the ongoing pact of aggression which, if not rejected and defeated, will lead the country into the situation that Greece today faces.
What we needed was the abandonment of the terms and goals dictated by the obsessive aim of reaching a deficit of 3% in 2013. Instead, the government reaffirmed its agreement and blind obedience to a goal which will involve further sacrifices and make economic recovery impossible. If any doubts existed as to the nature of the policy that is being implemented, it sufficed to see the very first and immediate consequence of this summit in our country: a soaring of the stock price of the banks, since every guarantee was given to transfer huge amounts of public resources to the banks in the coming months.
In view of the capitalism’s severe crisis and the deepening contradictions amidst its main instrument in Europe – the European Union – once again the answers found do not represent any change in the policies that led to the present situation, but instead, a rapid worsening of its most negative aspects and a real strategy of social and civilizational regression in Europe. It is even clearer that the process of European capitalist integration is not based on any principles of solidarity or economic and social cohesion and does not serve the workers and the peoples. Instead it serves to further asymmetries in development, to operate a broad violent offensive against social and labour rights and to further attacks on people’s sovereignty and on democracy itself, deepening the domination of monopolist capital – particularly that of financial capital – and the major European capitalist powers, especially Germany and France.
PCP reaffirms that the summits now held, represent a qualitative leap in the offensive by big capital and federalism in the European Union (with the resulting strengthening of the power of the Directorate, especially that of Germany) in a clear worsening of the crisis. More than just a cynical proclamation that these measures will “calm” the “markets” (imagine presenting their “behaviour” as the great evaluator of the correctness of measures), the fact is that the European Union, completely subservient and submitted to the interests and determinations of monopolist capital, has just thrown more fuel into the fire that is consuming the productive forces in several European countries and turning people’s life into hell.
What these summits now held show is this Europe increasingly turning into a Europe of regression and economic and social divergence. An increasingly neoliberal, federalist and militarist European Union, led by a directorate of powers hegemonized by Germany – as clearly seen by the suspension of the Council’s proceedings due to a Bundestag session – imposing on the weaker economies, like Portugal, relations of domination of a colonial type .
In view of the decisions of the summits now held, the threat to national independence and sovereignty and to the rights of the Portuguese workers and people is even more serious. This calls for an intensification of the struggle for a rupture with the European Union policies and the PSD/CDS government’s right-wing policy. A national design, this calls for a rejection of the pact of aggression that leads Portugal to disaster. This calls for a policy that, obeying and enforcing the Constitution of the Republic, ensures Portugal with a future and helps in building another Europe of the workers and peoples.
The Secretariat of the Central Committee of the PCP