The secretary-general of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) rejected the possibility that the viability of the State Budget for 2021 (OE) did not serve as a bargaining chip to allow the holding of the congress that is taking place this weekend in Loures , Lisbon district.
"I commit to my word of honor that there has never been any contact with the PS and the Government on this matter of the congress," said Jerónimo de Sousa in statements to RTP.
The abstention of the PCP, along with the PAN, the ENP and the two single non-registered members, allowed the OE 2021 to be approved in Parliament on Thursday.
Asked if there was a need to hold this congress at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic continues to grow in Portugal, the leader of the PCP replied that the event “represents an incentive, a motivation, because the idea was created that taking people to confinement, everything would have to be paralyzed, creating the fear of dying, and creating the fear of living ”.
The leader of the PCP also came to de-dramatize the possibility that the OE 2021 was failed. “Even with the budget defeated, the Government was not concerned. I could find solutions in a new budget or even in twelfths, that is not a sine qua non ”.
The communist secretary-general also explained why the PCP continued to negotiate with the government. "We fought the fight to the end, it was a commitment we made, we did not give up any opportunity to advance with rights in reforms and pensions, NHS, public services".
But for the future, the PCP guarantees the “detachment from the PS Government” which is responsible for “matters that have not been approved”.
“Our position, while maintaining our independence, the Government can count on us to do what is good for the workers and the people. But he cannot count on us if he presents undue proposals that go against our aspiration to advance rights ”, he said.
Regarding whether he will continue to lead the party, Jerónimo de Sousa left that possibility in the hands of the central committee that will meet this weekend to “elect the executive bodies and the secretary general”.