Don’t give PS the car keys

The leader of the PCP, Jerónimo de Sousa, said that if the country were a car driven by the PS, it would not get out of neutral and would instead go in reverse with Rui Rio in tow, all the time calling for a vote for the CDU to put the brakes on.

“If the country were a car driven by the PS with a free hand, it would not get out of neutral and would have Rui Rio hitched up to ensure it only runs in reverse. It will go into reverse on workers’ rights, on the national health service and public schools, salaries and pensions and in housing guarantees”, said the Communist Party (PCP) leader.

Jerónimo de Sousa was speaking during a visit to the Sacavém Voluntary Fire Department in Loures, Lisbon, where he took part in a rally of the Communist/Green United Democratic Coalition (CDU) ahead of the general election on 30 January.

The PCP leader criticised the “superficiality” of the current election debate, which he said is based on discussions about “agreements – or the lack of them – of polemics involving lists and seats”, and stating that these “rosemary and marjoram wars matter little” to the CDU, which is focused on the “real problems” facing the country.

“In the PCP and the CDU we highlight the problems, we criticise the wrong decisions, the blockages, the capture of the national interest by the impositions of the European Union or the large economic groups that continue to dominate our society and government programmes”, he said.

Jerónimo de Sousa reeled off a list of measures he claimed were achieved by the CDU during the current and past legislature, including the introduction of the single public transport pass, free primary school textbooks and free nursery places for all children, which he said was “a measure that was not even in the programme of the PS or of the government “.

“This is why we say clearly there has been no advance, conquest or recovery of rights, that does not have the mark of the PCP and the CDU, that was not the consequence of our proposals or of our struggle in parliament and outside it,” he said.

Despite the “advances”, the PCP leader noted that there are still “many issues where there have been few or no improvements”, particularly in respect of the right to housing and increases to the minimum wage.

He said that during the last few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about stability from the PS, adding that “those who were not paying attention might think they were worried about the stability of labour contracts and the fight against precariousness, or about the housing guarantee or timely access to health care”.

“But it is not that stability of people’s lives they are concerned about. What they want is to ensure the stability of policies that benefit the interests of economic power. They long for an absolute majority, which they have already asked for, or, failing that, for a so-called central bloc, the bloc of business and interests, which the PSD has already agreed to”, he said.

The Communist leader said the “Portuguese people remember the politics of Passos Coelho’s PSD, which are the same as Rui Rio’s”, and they also “remember the PS when it had an absolute majority and the measures it introduced that were so damaging to the lives of the workers and the people”.

“That is why we must put the brakes on them, and the only one way to do this is to vote CDU and make a left turn in national politics. This is the only way to solve the problems facing the country and improve the lives of ordinary Portuguese”, he concluded.

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