Motion A - The strength of hope, Left Bloc aiming for majority
Esquerda.net/English will start publishing today a translation of each of the three motions that shall be discussed in next weekend's national convention. Motion A had 830 subscribers, the first of which is Catarina Martins, the spokesperson for the Left Bloc.
1 – Chronic crisis, permanent instability
- The financial crisis that started in 2007 turned into a global economic recession. Austerity expanded as a strategy to respond the crisis, by transferring work income to capital.
- The recession and the crisis of national sovereign debts made EU an element of instability of capitalism. The contraction of the economies of Russia or Brazil increases the risks of a new global recession. Nowadays China is facing difficulties in the capitalist world.
- Governments are not countering the recession, because it means a lack of income and social labour force. The motto is injecting liquidity into the financial system, not in the states or into the production or employment. The public power is weaker and weaker with regard to the financial power demanding more liberalization with TTIP or with the CETA and TISA agreements.
- The United States keep as hegemonic power, OTAN is their armed arm around the world and the dollar the reference currency. In the attack against Libya, in Ukraine, in NATO expanding towards East, or in Syria, influence and resources are in dispute. Washington and Moscow are very asymmetrical powers but they compete in the framework of a certain integration of their capitalist elites. Due to the recession, war is still a resource used to assume an imperialist position in the dispute for territories, markets and resources.
- On international disorder, the climate crisis is getting worse. The COP21 summit has announced an inconsequent commitment. Extreme climate phenomena are more frequent each time, which deepen inequalities and increase the dispute for natural resources. The environmental crisis updates the eco socialist appeal to subordinate and mobilize the technological development to the sustainability of life on Earth.
2 - Protect Portugal from the EU directory
- The growing authoritarianism of Europe ruled by non-elected institutions prevents the democratic transformation of its institutions. The same European institutions that organized the crushing of the left in Greece are protecting proto-fascist regimes like the Hungarian regime. As proved by the negotiations to try to stop Brexit, the blackmail of the strongest is the European rule.
- The financial crisis was the excuse to speed the concentration of wealth and internal devaluation processes. This course, as a consequence of the euro rules, the Fiscal Compact and the corruption, imposed austerity and unsustainable public debts to the countries on the periphery. The only way to save the Welfare State, re-launch investment and create more jobs is renegotiating the debt and having the public control of the banking system.
- Defeating austerity means facing the European institutions. The concentration of the property of the European banking system is, as the Portuguese case is concerned, a serious attack to our democratic sovereignty. The left needs a mandate and must be prepared to restore all the sovereign options that are essential to respect the democracy of the country.
- The crisis of the EU is also present in the opposition to integrating thousands of people seeking for shelter in Europe. Accomplice of wars and building walls of segregation as in Hungary, the EU has signed an agreement with Turkey that is a complete humanitarian negligence. The left must refuse such an agreement and fight for large scale reception programs for people running from the genocide.
- The necessary response to the terrorist attacks is not securitarianism that steals citizenship rights, but rather stop selling arms and buying oil to the terrorist movements and states that finance them. In Syria as well as in other countries the democratic sectors must be supported not as belligerent but as political actors that fight for the democratic transformation. Only fighting the discriminations and investing seriously in social cohesion and intercultural dialogue will be possible to stop the forces that are in the origin of this spiral of terror.
- The project of a democratic redefinition of the European institutions is not reliable. Fighting austerity and authoritarianism requires popular sovereignty instruments that correspond to the will to break austerity. For that purpose we also need solidarity from the progressive forces in Europe, in the European Left Party and other forums.
3 – Challenging the popular majority for a new project for Portugal
- The results obtained by Left Bloc in the October parliamentary elections were a contribution to prevent the old “centrão” [a PS coalition with right wing parties]. It is quite clear today that Left Bloc is essential and able to build majority political solutions for the benefit of the people.
- This process of political convergence was possible because elections created an unprecedented display of forces in parliament: PSD together with CDS/PP have no majority, but PS is not the most voted party; CDS/PP and PS together don’t make majority, but PS needs Left Bloc and PCP to have the majority.
- The aim of Left Bloc is to enable a policy that intends to regain employment and give social and political power to the workers, so that work beats capital and democratic modernization wins conservatism.
- Left Bloc won’t accept more cuts in wages and pensions or new tax charges on that income, directly or through rise of taxation of basic goods, and hopes that the partners on this agreement won’t break it.
- Left Bloc values the contribution of PCP and is ready to have new forms of dialogue and cooperation with PCP, in order to find a solution for the problems that affect the workers. Only with a broad and without sectarianism mobilization can the popular majority effectively confront the European blackmail.
- The right wing is based on this blackmail to try to restore the cycle of concentration of wealth and permanent austerity in order to menace the parliamentary majority. The pressure from the President of Republic for “regime agreements” wishes to restore the right alignment of the alternating parties [PS and PSD].
- The agreement to stop impoverishment is not enough to answer to employment, social justice and economic development. Without a new strategy for the country it is not possible to keep the income recovery commitment which the parliamentary majority is based on.
- The public debt and the financing system are the biggest menaces to the State accounts. Therefore it is vital to renegotiate the public debt and produce a systemic intervention on the private banks taking over the public control. Furthermore the fight against corruption, rentism and tax evasion including offshores.
- Portugal needs to increase its productive and technological capacity, create employment and reduce imports and the energetic billing. A strategy to decarbonize economy including the investment in railway, together with a commitment on food sovereignty allows a change on the national production paradigm and the defense of territorial cohesion, regional forms of decentralization covering all the territory and fighting inland desertification, promoting employment, creation and wealth fixation in all national territory.
- An income policy that promotes social justice will have to raise minimum wage, promote collective negotiation, reduce working hours and apply 35-hour workweek for the public and private sectors, regain the 25 days of paid holiday, the amount paid for extra work and redundancy payment. In order to fight precariousness it is vital to end the false green receipts, false scholarships and false internships, increase inspection, limit fixed-term contracts and end the farce of the employment-insertion contracts and the temporary work companies.
4 – Learn, join, grow: Left Bloc and the conquest of majority
- The electoral growth of Left Bloc, in the context of one million votes on the left of PS in the parliamentary elections shows that the country is tired of mere change over and looks forward to a political alternative to austerity. There is social force in Portugal to dispute an alternative and Left Bloc is the party that is able to challenge the popular majority to a new project for Portugal.
- In the coming regional elections in 2016 and local elections in 2017, Left Bloc will present its alternative in Azores and for the local elections, materializing the biggest convergences around programs that place people before financial and housing speculation interests, in dialogue with the new experiences of independent citizens’ candidatures. The purpose is to increase representation, defeat the right and contribute to build left transforming majorities, totally assuming the responsibilities for the conquered mandates.
- The expectations created by the present political situation did not lead to more intense mass struggle. Left Bloc has the task to renew the social struggle to play against the elites and European institutions a new popular role capable of changing the relation of forces. In the trade unions democracy and pluralism are matters of survival but they still have a long way to make.
- Organizational priority means spreading social intervention of Left Bloc, with the constitution of theme and sector action groups capable of increasing the network of communication of ideas, joining forces and creating initiatives in articulation with Left Bloc organizations. The promotion of mechanisms of participation of activists and supporters, as the internal referendum for instance, maximizes their direct participation in debates and national, regional or local decisions.
- The national organizations of Left Bloc at all levels take over the proportional representation of the guidelines that were voted on the Convention. The Political Commission (CP) elects a Secretariat responsible, between the meetings of the CP, for the political and organizational leadership and is coordinated by the head of the list that had more votes for Mesa Nacional.