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Catarina Martins, Bloco de Esquerda’s Coordinator, said that Bloco de Esquerda has defined four priorities in response to the crisis in the 2021 State Budget’s debate, which have not been accommodated by the Socialist Party Government.

Bloco de Esquerda considers that the agreement reached by the European Council “falls short of what was announced and of what is necessary”, said Catarina Martins, Bloco de Esquerda’s coordinator.

Bloco de Esquerda, in its humanitarian, democratic and socialist spirit, expresses solidarity with all Latin American peoples and all countries in crisis. We contend that humanitarian and health aid should be brought to all populations in need.

Marisa Matias and José Gusmão, MEPs of Bloco de Esquerda, addressed a letter in late April to the European Ombudswoman denouncing the recent contract between the European Commission and Blackrock for the provision of advisory services for banks in the area of environmental regulation. For these MEPs, the flagrant conflict of interest was what motivated the complaint.

Bloco de Esquerda presented a set of proposed amendments to the Supplementary Budget for 2020, which appears as a response to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, currently being debated in the Portuguese Parliament.

This bill, which has been approved in the Portuguese Parliament, is aimed at workers who have lost income due to the pandemic and have no other forms of subsistence. The amount will be of 438.31 € per month” and the benefit will have a maximum duration of 180 days.

“The international community cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening, or it risks becoming a passive accomplice of this scourge”, warn the Bloco de Esquerda’s MEPs.

With or without a pandemic, having a strong National Health Service is essential, but the current health emergency has stressed the importance of having a strong and sustainable public health service.

The decisions taken by the Eurogroup were limited to a package of debt instruments, some of which are the result of initiatives already known to the Commission, in addition to the use of the European Stability Mechanism. This mechanism currently practices a higher interest rate (0.76) than that of the most recent emission made by the Portuguese State of seven-year Treasury bonds.

The health crisis emerging from the Covid-19 outbreak has and will have a strong impact in several realms of society, from the economy, to the labour market and social protection, among others. In Portugal, the first case of infection was detected on March 2nd and since March 19th the country has been under a State of Emergency.

This measure results in a temporary residence permit and avoids crowding of the public at the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – Immigration and Borders Service)  during the pandemic. Beatriz Dias, Bloco’s MP, welcomes the decision that guarantees access to social benefits for many "migrant people who work and contribute to social security revenues".

The response to the pandemic crisis requires both health measures as well as economic and social protection measures.

Speech by Catarina Martins in the March 18th parliamentary debate on declaring the State of Emergency in Portugal due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

Catarina Martins, in a press conference held on January 9, clarified that the negotiation “took place in difficult conditions”, adding that there are “still open questions” but several others are “guaranteed” and written on paper.

Bloco de Esquerda strongly condemns this military aggression and the war campaign against the peoples of Iran and Iraq and associates with all initiatives and voices seeking to silence the drums of war.