Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/664/11573

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2011

Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

Danny Byrne
Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

The collapse of the Portuguese 'Socialist Party' government of prime minister Jose Socrates came during a period of intense economic and social turmoil. Mass protests and strikes have given a picture of anger and unrest in the face of the austerity measures which the outgoing government, in collusion with the capitalist opposition has imposed, at the behest of the vultures of the financial markets.

The fall of the minority government came after 'PEC IV', a fourth austerity package, failed to pass through parliament in a vote on 23 March. The conservative PSD opposition party, after over a year of faithful support from the opposition benches for the first three 'PECs', voted against the measures, leading to the prime minister's resignation.

Attacks on workers

Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

This move by the PSD was wholly opportunist. This party, along with its prospective coalition partners, the Christian Democrats, shares the same fundamental political approach, that of attacking working people to pay for the crisis.

However, their voting against the bill has another significance, being the result of the massive pressure exerted by the opinions and actions of the vast majority in Portugal, who have had enough of these savage policies. In the ten days immediately preceding the vote on PEC IV, a combined 400,000 people hit the streets on two Saturdays of mass protest. (Out of a population of 11.8 million).

On 12 March, 300,000 people (including 200,000 in Lisbon) joined the protests organised around "desolate generation", a loose campaigning group on a Facebook page, which demands an end to the precarious exploitative conditions forced on workers, and to massive youth unemployment.

Then, 19 March saw 100,000 demonstrate in Lisbon, called by the CGTP trade union federation.

A wave of national strikes, of transport, postal and education workers among others, accompanied this period of mass action.

These protest actions show both the massive opposition to Portuguese capitalism's agenda, but also the immense potential power of the masses when organised, and the organised workers' movement in particular.

On 24 November 2010 a oneday general strike paralysed the economy when over 85% of workers downed tools. It is this opposition and potential power of the working class that made the capitalist opposition fearful of voting for yet another PEC. This is something which should be registered by working people and socialists in Portugal and internationally: the Portuguese government has essentially been overthrown by the pressure of workers and youth in struggle.

And this is despite the limited strategy of the trade union leaders, who have effectively taken the path of demobilisation since the general strike. Imagine what would be possible with a really effective strategy, armed also with a working class political alternative.

The next likely government will not satisfy the demands of the majority.

European Union/International Monetary Fund intervention beckons, as Portugal looks set to follow Greece and Ireland in accepting 'bailout' packages, to facilitate the continued paying off of the bad debts of European bankers and speculators out of workers' taxes.

Such a package will be attached to brutal austerity as a condition, including the decisive elements of the PEC IV, but also with many more vicious measures included over a long period.

Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI* in Portugal) is opposed to any EU/ IMF intervention, and calls for not a cent of public money to be spent repaying the debts of the super-rich.

The nationalisation of the banks, resources and key sectors of the economy under democratic control, would allow massive investment to improve people's lives, instead of endless cuts.

The CWI calls for the left parties (Left Bloc and Communist Party - which in Portugal command over 20% of the vote combined) to put forward a united front based on such policies in the upcoming elections.

With Portugal the probable third bankrupt state to emerge from the chaos of the crisis in Europe, the disaster of the bosses' European Union is being further exposed. The only alternative is a socialist Europe based upon workers' solidarity.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 March 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

We said: NO CUTS!

Hands off our NHS!

Save Sure Start Services

On the move in London to fight the cuts


Socialist Party editorial

Defend the Libyan revolution


Socialist Party feature

TUC demo biggest in decades

Socialists on the 26 March demo


Socialist Party news

Gove's EMA concession not enough

MPs back the Jarrow March for Jobs

Budget fuels determination to fight back!

Socialist receives 12% of the vote in Bellingham, Lewisham

Against cuts? Support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Saltend workers stand firm

PCS wins ballot in Jobcentre Plus contact centres

Unison health conference: Time for action to defend our jobs, pensions and the NHS!

Vote for a fighting democratic Unison leadership

In brief


International socialist news and analysis

Portugal Government falls amidst mass protests

The consequences of the earthquake disaster in Japan


Socialist Party review

Review: Blue Labour


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 March 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Portugal:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The political situation in Portugal

trianglePortugal: No to witch-hunts - fight the capitalists not socialists

triangleEurope and the workers' movement after Brexit

triangleWhy I joined: I want a future for my generation

Economy:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

triangleTories torn - bin them now

CWI:

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

Capitalist:

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/10/17

Refugees

Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

18/10/17

Brexit

Tories torn - bin them now

18/10/17

What we saw

What we saw

18/10/17

Food

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

18/10/17

NHS

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

18/10/17

Debt

Young people being strangled by debts

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2