Portugal: 'The people now have a goal ― the gov't must resign!'

The resolution below was adopted by the national board of the Left Bloc in Portugal. The Left Bloc in Portugal was founded in 1999 by the People's Democratic Union and Politica 21, a current from the Portuguese Communist Party. It is abridged from the October issue of International Viewpoint.

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The gigantic demonstration on September 15 [in which 1 million protesters marched against austerity measures], which cannot be compared to any other mobilisation in recent decades, turns the page of Portuguese politics. This was the response of the social majority to the government offensive, adopting a clear position against the Troika [of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and European Union] and demanding a break with the policy of impoverishment, austerity and destruction.

The demonstration by the people did not demand time to slow down austerity, it demanded the end of the Troika in Portugal.

The Left Bloc salutes the groups that took the initiative of this popular demonstration and expresses its esteem for the million citizens who saved democracy against the Troika.

The mass struggle is the path to confront the government and the Troika. Record levels of unemployment, debt and poverty give the picture of the country. The people responded to the provocations of theft of wages through an rise in the Single Social Tax (TSU) paid for by workers, and its transfer to the employers – as to all the forms of reduction of wages and pensions or new increases in taxes – with democracy in action.

Before the announcement of this measure, the Left Bloc presented its agenda on September 8, around three proposals: support urgent popular mobilisation; support a general strike that would unite the whole trade union movement and broaden out socially; and recourse to the Constitutional Court, to a motion of censure and a fight in parliament to present clear alternatives.

The single essential question in Portugal is to refuse the theft of wages and pensions, to refuse financial manipulations, refuse the demands of the Troika; and to dismiss the government and open the way to general elections. Only the people can defend social justice.

Social mobilisations will intensify, from the forthcoming trade union demonstrations to other forms of popular action, as has been seen in the gathering of thousands of people before the Council of State. The Left Bloc will work fully for the success of these mobilisations, supporting the general and unitary struggle of trade unions and social movements.

To respond to the emergency situation, the Left Bloc takes part in protests against the assault on salaries and pensions through the TSU or against the confiscation of the income of those who work.

In this sense, the Left Bloc expresses its full readiness to support a motion of censure in parliament.

The Left Bloc is engaged in the regional elections in the Azores, presenting the result of its intense parliamentary and social work and mobilising a socialist alternative, based on the defence of workers, reforms and young people and promoting regional autonomy while refusing all solutions that include austerity or poverty.