It is possible to exchange capitalism for socialism in the 21st century, says PCP – ZAP

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Tiago Petinga / Lusa

The general secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), Jerónimo de Sousa

The PCP’s secretary general, Jerónimo de Sousa, on Thursday marked the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune with a speech of fidelity to the communist ideal and defined the “replacement of capitalism by socialism” as a “real possibility” for humanity in the 21st century.

“It is the replacement of capitalism by socialism, which, in the 21st century, remains inscribed as a real possibility and as the most solid perspective of the evolution of humanity”, he said, in a session at Voz do Operário, in Lisbon, in which he read for 20 minutes without interruption or applause, a speech of five and a half pages on the Paris Commune.

The substitution of “capitalism for socialism” can occur as a “real possibility” in a “more or less prolonged historical period, in different ways and in a process” with the “redefinitions and enrichments of the project, through emancipation struggle social and national development of workers and peoples ”, he said, quoted by the agency Lusa.

After the 20-minute speech, the militants stood up, applauded, sang the party’s anthem, “Avante, comrade”, and the Portuguese anthem, in a session with only a few dozen participants, wearing a mask, respecting a safe distance due to the covid-19 epidemic, in which the Paris Commune was given as a precursor example of other revolutions around the world.

Taking as an example the “impetuous uprising” of the Commune, which raised “the red flag of the proletariat’s struggle” in Paris, the leader of the communists went through the history of communism in the world, and recalled how the events in France in 1971 had an impact in Portugal , in the following years.

He also praised the experience of the Soviet Union, which ceased to exist in the 1990s, and the countries of Eastern Europe, despite the “delays, errors and deformations that led to its reversibility”.

The USSR and the socialist countries, he said, “put economic development at the service of realizing the rights of their people”, with the “elimination of unemployment and poverty, the eradication of illiteracy”, among other objectives.

José Sena Goulão / Lusa

e8ee95512bd15405897af1743db13bf3 It is possible to exchange capitalism for socialism in the 21st century, says PCP - ZAP

In evoking the Paris Commune “and its emancipatory ideal “, Jerónimo de Sousa also stressed “the meaning and scope of the April Revolution in Portugal”, a “conquest by workers and the Portuguese people for freedom, democratic rights”.

“Accelerated deficit reduction remains the obsession”

PCP deputy Duarte Alves attacked the “Government obsession” with the “accelerated” reduction of the budget deficit, something that, for the communists, should not be a priority in the Stability Program 2021-2025, released on Thursday. The party demands that the Executive take advantage, in 2022, of the budgetary margins to fight the pandemic crisis.

“What transpires [do Programa de Estabilidade] in relation to the deficit is that its accelerated reduction continues to be the Government’s great obsession ”, he said, quoted by ECO, stating that this is the Executive’s “big budget option”, which the PCP does not like, namely the goal of reaching 2023 with a deficit of less than 3% do PIB.

The Government expects that, after a deficit of 5.7% of GDP in 2020, the budget deficit will fall to 4.5% of GDP in 2021, which translates into a much smaller reduction compared to the expected in the OE2021. In the following years, forecasts point to 3.2% of GDP in 2022, 2.2% in 2023, 1.6% in 2024 and 1.1% in 2025.

For the PCP, these are predictions to “please Brussels”, and one cannot “forget that we are in a scenario of great uncertainty”.

Duarte Alves defended that the Government should carry out the measures foreseen in the OE 2021 to help companies and citizens to overcome the pandemic crisis, betting on public investment, the National Health Service and vaccination.

The deputy also considered that “the deficit must not be placed above the problems” and that the Government should give up more public revenue to help the economy, creating more deficit. However, he considers that this would be beneficial as the country would recover more quickly.

ZAP ZAP / Lusa //