Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/629/9824

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 June 2010

Portugal: Mobilisation against austerity reaches new level

WORKING CLASS people in Portugal are facing an unprecedented assault against wages, welfare provision and public services. Last week, the governing Socialist Party (PS) and the main right-wing opposition, the Socialist Democratic Party (PSD), joined forces in parliament to approve a second version of the Stability and Growth Plan (PEC) - a huge austerity programme destined to halve the 9.4% budget deficit in two years.

Cédric Gérôme

The new measures include income tax hikes, a VAT rise, cuts in central government funds to local councils, and a general increase of public transport costs.

A deep public anger against these measures is increasing. The ruling class, fearing a rise in social struggles, has pushed the political establishment to apply also some cosmetic measures against higher incomes, like a 5% cut in politicians and public sector managers' wages, and a rise in corporation tax of 2.5%.

This serves the purpose of arguing that "everybody pays an equal share of sacrifices." However, while the working class victims of the capitalist crisis are facing ceaseless belt-tightening measures, the four largest private banks are netting on average €4.35 million in profits every single day.

As the level of unemployment is reaching a record-high - on average, 243 jobs a day are being lost - new savage cuts in unemployment benefits are also on the order of the day.

And new attacks should be expected soon. Displaying its allegiance to the will of financial speculators, the government is already coming out with new proposals. 500 primary schools are being cut and highway fees levied. President Cavaco Silva has even urged people to 'forget about going on holidays abroad', supposedly as a way to help the country out of the economic crisis.

But like their Greek and Spanish counterparts, Portuguese workers have shown a tremendous willingness to struggle. The last weeks and months have seen a new stage in the scale of mobilisations. Even the police have taken to the streets to protest against their wages and conditions.

Huge mobilisation

On Saturday 29 May, a national demonstration called by the CGTP - the main union confederation- gathered more than 300,000 people in the streets of Lisbon, in a powerful response against the government's austerity agenda.

This mobilisation was the largest workers' demonstration in the country since the 1974 revolution and helped sharpen the enthusiasm and confidence of many workers for intensifying the resistance.

Significantly, while the smaller and conservative UGT trade union had refused to mobilise for this demo - arguing that it would represent a "threat to social peace"- many union rank-and-file members defied their leaders by joining the demo anyway.

Many workers saw this mobilisation as a step towards the building of a nationwide general strike. "Let's follow Greece: General Strike!" one demo banner read.

Yet the CGTP national leadership doesn't seem to be very keen in responding to this as it should. The widespread and popular slogan of "La luta continua" (continue the struggle) must not remain on paper, but needs to be translated concretely into the preparation of a militant agenda of struggles, beginning with a serious call and preparation for a 24-hour general strike.

This is what Socialismo Revolucionario, the CWI section in Portugal, is arguing for, as a first step to display the strength of the workers' movement and to organise the fightback - linking it to socialist proposals against the impasse of capitalist crisis.

Our appeal to the left parties (the Communist Party and the Left Bloc) for a united plan of resistance against the PEC, and for 'organisations of action' during the international week of protest and solidarity during 21-26 June, also received a warm response from many activists and young people.

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


In The Socialist 16 June 2010:

Millionaire ministers savage public services

'Bloodbath budget' day protests and meetings


Education

Comprehensive education under attack

Opposing 'Dickensian' academy schools in Waltham Forest


National Shop Stewards Network

Come to the NSSN conference

Unison local government conference: Delegates face huge struggles

Northern Rock throws workers on the dole

Wales Unison: Socialist Party member elected

NHS Scotland - ConDemned to terminal decay

Southampton library staff strike to save jobs

Save the Big House


Socialist Party editorial

Labour leadership contest dominated by right wing


Socialist Party news and analysis

TUSC plans for future elections

BP's value plunges as oil spill worsens

Willetts approves tuition fees hike

Bloody Sunday report appears 38 years late

IDS's 'anti-poverty drive' attacks the poorest!

High speed trains and high priced fares

Why we don't back the Queen's pay claim

Fast news

Diary dates


Anti-racism

Tower Hamlets: Jobs, homes and services - not the racist EDL!


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: A test bed for 'austerity' and resistance

Spain: Millions of public sector workers strike over brutal cuts

Portugal: Mobilisation against austerity reaches new level

Socialist Party Scotland launched at packed and inspiring meeting


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Portugal:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How can austerity be defeated in 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

Strike:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

triangleNewham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together

triangleBosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

Socialist:

trianglePortsmouth Socialist Party: How can the NHS be defended from the Tories?

triangleYork Socialist Party: Perspectives from the National Commitee

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

Capitalist:

triangle90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

triangleCapitalists fear for their system at Davos

International

International

21/2/18

Russia

Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail

21/2/18

South Africa

South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

14/2/18

France

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

14/2/18

Unemployed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

14/2/18

Brazil

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

14/2/18

South Africa

Cape Town drought

7/2/18

China

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

7/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

7/2/18

Sudan

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

31/1/18

Austria

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

24/1/18

Palestine

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

17/1/18

Hong Kong

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

17/1/18

Tunisia

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999