Thursday, May 14, 2020

Fight the virus and defend the rights of the retirees, pensioners and elderly

STATEMENT BY JERÓNIMO DE SOUSA, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE PCP, SUBLIC SESSION "FIGHT THE VIRUS AND DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF THE RETIREES, PENSIONERS AND ELDERLY"







The last few months have been marked by an exceptional situation, as a result of the outbreak of COVID -19 and the sanitary measures to prevent and fight it, in which the National Health Service and its professionals have played an irreplaceable role.
We have entered a new period of resuming life in the country, a path towards the normalisation of economic activity and the life of the Portuguese aware of the need to comply with the basic rules of health protection, individual and collective.
The step by step return to work has to be accompanied by the need to strengthen the protection of all those who dynamize the economic activity of the country, starting with the creation of conditions that safeguard the protection of those who have to travel in public transport every day to work.
Those who find themselves without a job with cuts in wages and those who survive on low pensions have increased difficulties in getting masks, gloves and disinfectant solution due to prices incompatible with their income level.
An unacceptable situation that shows that the epidemic outbreak has been bolstered by capital and multinational companies as an opportunity to increase their profits, by increasing labour exploitation and by speculating the prices of these products and other essential goods for life.
Meanwhile, I would like to note the misunderstanding that has been created in society, between the "duty of special attention to citizens over 70 years" and their mandatory lockdown, without any legal base for it.
It is understandable that families want to do everything they can to protect their parents, grandparents and even their neighbours or acquaintances.
What is unacceptable is that, based on this fair concern, one tries to segregate the elderly and curtail their rights and freedoms.
It is necessary to contradict conceptions such as those put forward by the President of the European Commission, when she defended that the contacts of the elderly with other people would have to be limited until the end of the year.
Such a perspective cannot be separated from its essence by those who have transformed aging into a “social burden”.
In this Session addressed to the retirees, pensioners and elderly, the PCP reaffirms that preventing and fighting the epidemic outbreak for all citizens, namely for those over 70 years, must be accompanied by the appreciation of the role they played as workers, the value of their social, political and cultural participation in this stage of their life and for the contribution to society of their experience and knowledge.
We do not underestimate the risks of contagion among themselves and the additional care for the most vulnerable people, elderly or not, but we must reject the stigma on the elderly!
It is not the elderly who carry the risk of contagion, among themselves and the other citizens. Being elderly is not synonymous with dependence, lack of social autonomy or lack of ability to make informed and responsible decisions, whether in the field of virus prevention or in all areas of their life.
Feeding such stigma would mean feeding the feelings that are “weigh on” the family and society; making the lives of those living in care homes a nightmare; reducing the right of the vast majority to freedom and the right to decide their lives and act in defence of their rights.
Complacency with such a path would have very damaging consequences on their physical and emotional health.
A word to the elderly who live in care homes. Everything has to be done to ensure the special protection of these elderly people and workers, but also to ensure the quality of the services provided, which guarantee their safety, their well-being and the carrying out of activities that mitigate the consequences of their social and family isolation.
It is worth remembering that the retirees, pensioners and elderly are a heterogeneous social group that involves citizens over 65 years, with a strong emphasis on «the young elderly», the elderly and the very elderly. Most have expectations, a strong motivation to live this stage of their life, with pleasure, with the possibility of carrying out activities that they could not carry out when they were workers and a strong appetite for associative forms linked to social, recreational, cultural or sports activities.
The lives of the elderly cannot remain suspended in the face of the epidemic outbreak. Compliance with the safety standards that are due and required for all cannot be associated with the perverse idea that nothing will be as before, in the present and in the future.
Fear should not paralyse everyone's life, fear of being infected and of contagion should not deprive the elderly of gratifying emotional and social relationships. Just as the relentless fight against social inequalities and poverty among the elderly cannot be suspended, there is as well the need to create a Public Network of Equipment and Services to meet the specific needs of the elderly, without prejudice to the complementary role, no less valuable, of private institutions of social solidarity.
Without forgetting the necessary support for the associations of the retirees, pensioners and elderly, as an important associative expression of this social group, it should include their home support activities, as well as their day care and social centres to resume these activities when the conditions are created.
The current context cannot make the resolution of the problems that affect most retirees and pensioners a secondary issue, and continue to move in combating low pension values and situations of poverty, and in implementing their right to decent pensions and living conditions.
We therefore valorise the implementation in this month of May, of the extra increase in pensions that covers one million and eight hundred thousand retirees and pensioners, which was made possible for the fourth consecutive year due to the determination of the PCP and the struggle of the retirees and their specific organisations for better pensions and decent living conditions.
Due to the initiative of the PCP, an increase of 10 and 6 euros was achieved in 2020.
Let us look at two examples, of the importance of this increase for social security pensions:
A pension of 450 euros in January 2020 had an increase of 3.15 euros. In May, there will be an increase of 6.85 euros more, thus totalling 10 euros. The social old-age pension, which in 2019 was 210.32 euros, increased in January 2020 by 1.58 euros. In May there will be an increase of 4.82 euros, thus totalling 6 euros.
This extra increase in 2020, added to those of 2019, 2018 and 2017 means that a significant portion of the retirees, pensioners and elderly has, in these 4 years, an increase in the value of their pension of 40 or 24 euros per month.
These extra increases mitigate the consequences of the pension freeze, between 2011 and 2015, imposed by the PSD/CDS government and the insufficient yearly increases that the mere application of the pension update mechanism advocated by the PS would materialise.
They were only possible because the PCP did not give up. But we are aware that this extra increase fell short of the objectives and the scope recommended by its proposal: 10 euros for all pensions, starting in January, whose percentage value would be higher for the lowest and lower for the rest, ensuring everybody a restoration of their purchasing power.
The priority given to the valorisation of pensions requires the valorisation of wages and social security payments, as a central feature to interrupt the spiral of low pensions for generations of workers who retire, but it also imposes a change to the unfair mechanism of pension updating, created by a PS government in 2006, and the creation of new minimum pension brackets in the social security system that valorise the longest contributory careers.
Fighting the virus cannot mean fewer rights for the retirees, pensioners and elderly. We will continue to fight in defence of the central role of the Public Social Security System in guaranteeing the right to a decent pension, nor will we collude with the right-wing policy solutions, based on the weakening of the Public Social Security System, facilitating the dilapidation of revenues which are due to the social security system, taking for granted that nothing can be done to prevent such a path.
We will do all we can to ensure everyone's rights to healthcare within the framework of the National Health Service, as well as other public services. Because they are all essential to guarantee the right to grow old with rights and enable to live more years with health and well-being.
The widely trumpeted active aging, when it comes to imposing solutions of the right-wing policy of prolonging the professional activity of the elderly, cannot be associated with keeping the elderly confined and without perspective, accepting that everything will irreparably worse.
It is necessary to give confidence that it is necessary to resume their lives naturally, making the necessary adaptations that compel everyone, given the exceptional nature of the times we live with respect for their freedoms and rights.
I therefore welcome the action of the retirees, pensioners and elderly and their specific associative movement and their role in the struggle to raise their living conditions and rights and for their political, social, cultural and sports participation.
The epidemic outbreak confirms the need to implement an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy that materialises a national strategy on the issues of aging based on policies that uphold the deepening of the rights of the retirees, pensioners and elderly, ensuring that living longer means having quality of life, with economic and social autonomy, physical and psychological well-being and preventing and combating the risks of poverty among the elderly and promoting adequate protection against illness and dependency.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Joint Communication of tens of Communist and Workers ' Parties for the 150 years since the birth of the second.I. Lenin





The text of the Joint Announcement and the signatures of the parties are as follows:

The communist and labour parties, co-signatories of this Joint statement, we want and in this way to honour a great revolutionary and theorist of scientific socialism, which on 22 April completed 150 years of its birth, the Βλαδίμηρ Illich Lenin.
Particularly in the present circumstances, and while evolving pandemic of CoVID-19, which is a tragic illustration of the major shortcomings of the health systems in capitalist countries, as well as the anti-social and parasitic nature of the capitalist system, in front of a new crisis, the burden of which will be asked again to pay the workers, the aggressive nature of imperialism and the sharpening of imperialist antagonisms, causing new dangers for peace and peoples, we feel even more the need to refer to the historical figure of the second.I. Lenin. A personality, who dedicated his life to the case of the working class and other popular strata in the struggle for the abolition of exploitation and the building of the socialist society.
We honor the B.I. Lenin, as the founder of the modern party of the working class the party "new type", which has been separated decisively with politicians the opportunism and apostasy of the old social democratic parties. Such was the bolshevik party, which came in leading the class struggle of the proletariat and the other oppressed masses of Russia. The party of Lenin led the working class of Russia to the victory with the overthrow of εκμεταλλευτριών classes and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a government of workers and peasants, in the service of the interests of the many, the exploited and oppressed. THE B.I. Lenin has defined and documented the pioneering role of the Communist Party, not only in the establishment of a workers ' power, and in the building of socialism.
We honor the B.I. Lenin, as the theoretical, which, taking into account the specific fact, developed further the components parts of marxism - philosophy, political economy and scientific communism. As a fighter against any οπορτουνιστικής and review of distortion of the revolutionary theory and practice, of doctrine, of sectarianism and of parliamentary illusions, without renouncing the intervention of the parliament. Projects, that indicatively, we mention here, such as "What is the friends of the people, and how they fight the social democrats;", "The development of capitalism in Russia", "What should we do?", "The two tactics of social-democracy in the Democratic Revolution", "Materialism and Εμπειριοκριτικισμός", "Marxism and αναθεωρητισμός," "The bankruptcy of the 2nd International", "Socialism and war", "the motto of the United States of Europe", "Imperialism highest stage of capitalism", "State and Revolution", "Views April", "The αριστερισμός, a childhood disease of communism", "The immediate tasks of the Soviet Power", "The Great initiative", are the stations in the spread and development of marxism and of the revolutionary struggle. Overall, the valuable theoretical work of Lenin is still perfectly preserves the timeliness and be a "lighthouse" for the ideological-political education and action each new generation of rebels.
We honor the B.I. Lenin as the leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution, which for about a century, shocked the humanity, of the victorious revolution, that illuminated the power of the class struggle, the power of the exploited and oppressed, when they get the case of their interests in their hands and turning the wheel of History forward, in the direction of social liberation, of the flame-October, which led to and accelerated the establishment of a series of Communist Parties, revolutionary workers ' parties. Lenin had a far-sighted strategy, capacity and handled with skill alliances, skills devoted to the case of the socialist revolution.
We honor the B.I. Lenin as the leader of the world's first socialist state, which first established the power of workers on the basis of new revolutionary institutions, as was the soviet, sought the economic functioning of society on a new basis, on the basis of the satisfaction of the modern popular needs, of all-round free development of all people and not for the growth of the profitability of the few. The USSR, the first socialist state in the world, that came to life with the special contribution of the B.I. Lenin, brought to the fore new unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural conquests of the working class and wider layers of workers, who exerted a tremendous influence on the historical progressive developments all over our planet. It was a mainstay of the peoples in the struggle for socialism and peace.
We honor the B.I. Lenin as the great διεθνιστή, the leader, who raised high the flag of proletarian internationalism, against the treacherous attitude of the second International in the first World imperialist war, the fighter against the bourgeois nationalism and other urban perceptions, such as the cosmopolitanism of the capital, a pioneer in the establishment of the 3rd Communist International, was a great contribution to the international workers and communist movement, and today is a key source for the extraction of useful lessons from the experience accumulated by the action. The positions of Lenin on colonialism led the communists to understand the issue of the colonies and inspired to lead the αντιαποικιακών racing, both in the colonial countries and in the colonies.
We honor the B.I. Lenin as a tireless and consistent fighter against the imperialist war, supporter of the struggle of peoples for national and social liberation, social justice, peace, and socialism.
The counter-revolution and capitalist restoration cannot conceal the conquests of Socialism. The destruction and the injustice that we live in, the acute problems and the suffering of the working class, the small and medium-sized layers, the peasantry, and generally all the peoples from capitalist exploitation and oppression highlight the necessity and timeliness of socialism today in the world.
The Communist and Labour Parties denounced the workers and the youth "wave" of the suppression and the reactive and αντικομμουνιστικής of distortion, that have been unleashed around the world the political forces that serve the interests of capital, against the B's.I. Lenin. We are fighting for the continuation of the project, and we pledge that we will continue to defend his legacy, to spread, and we call on the workers and the peoples to learn from this.
22/04/2020

Parties, who sign:

1. Communist Party Of Azerbaijan
2. Egyptian Communist Party
3. Communist Party Of Albania
4. Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PADS)
5. Communist Party Of Argentina
6. Communist Party Of Armenia
7. Communist Party Of Australia
8. Party Of Labour Of Austria
9. Communist Party Of Belgium
10. Brazilian Communist Party
11. Communist Party Of Brazil
12. Communist Party Of Venezuela
13. Communist Party Of Bulgaria
14. Union of Communists in Bulgaria
15. Party of Bulgarian Communists
16. Communist Party Of Britain
17. New Communist Party Of Britain
18. Communist Revolutionary Party Of France
19. Pole Of Communist Revival, France
20. German Communist Party
21. Unified Communist Party Of Georgia
22. Communist Party Of Denmark
23. Communist Party in Denmark
24. Power of the Revolution, Dominican Republic
25. Communist Party (Switzerland)
26. Communist Party Of Greece
27. Communist Party Of El Salvador
28. Party of Communists, USA
29. Communist Group "Σίσο-Udo", Japan
30. Communist Party Of India
31. Communist Party Of India (Marxist)
32. Jordanian Communist Party
33. Communist Party Of Kurdistan – Iraq
34. Τουντέχ, Iran
35. Workers ' Party Of Ireland
36. Communist Party Of Ireland
37. Communist Party Of Ecuador
38. Communist Party Of Spain
39. Communist Party Of Workers Of Spain
40. Communist Party Of Peoples Of Spain
41. Communists of Catalonia
42. Union of the People of Galicia
43. Communist Party Of Israel
44. Communist Party, Italy
45. Italian Communist Party
46. Socialist Movement Kazakhstan
47. Communist Party Of Canada
48. Party of communists of Kyrgyzstan
49. Workers ' Party Korea
50. Socialist Labour Party Of Croatia
51. AKEL, Cyprus
52. Communist Party Of Belarus
53. Lebanese Communist Party
54. Socialist Party Of Latvia
55. Socialist Party, Lithuania
56. Communist Party Of Luxembourg
57. Communist Party Of Malta
58. Communist Party Of Mexico
59. Popular Socialist Party, Mexico
60. Democratic Progressive Step Bahrain
61. Communist Party Of Bangladesh
62. Communist Party Of Norway
63. South African Communist Party
64. New Communist Party Netherlands
65. Hungarian Workers ' Party
66. Communist Party Of Ukraine
67. Union Of Communists Of Ukraine
68. Communist Party Of Pakistan
69. Palestinian Communist Party
70. Party People Of Palestine
71. Παραγουάνικο Communist Party
72. Περουβιάνικο Communist Party
73. Communist Party Of Poland
74. Portuguese Communist Party
75. Communist Party Of Puerto Rico
76. Communist Party Of The Russian Federation
77. Communist Labour Party Of Russia
78. Communist Party Of The Soviet Union
79. Union of Communist Parties - CPSU
80. New Communist Party Of Yugoslavia
81. Communists of Serbia
82. Communist Party Of Slovakia
83. Communist Party Of Swaziland
84. Communist Party Of Sweden
85. Communist Party Of Sri Lanka
86. People's Liberation Front, Sri Lanka
87. Σουδανέζικο Communist Party
88. Syrian Communist Party
89. The Communist Party Of Turkey
90. Communist Party Of Bohemia-Moravia
91. Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930)
92. Communist Party Of Finland
93. Communist Party Of Chile