’Socialist’ government’s policies threaten French-style explosion
The following Alternativa Socialista (CWI) leaflet (in Portuguese) was distributed on 11 November, during a national protest demonstration by unions, in Lisbon, against the right wing ’Socialist’ government’s cutbacks and attacks on workers’ rights and conditions.
The Socialist Party, led by Prime Minister Jose Socrates, won elections in February, this year, gaining their first absolute majority since the end of the military regime in 1974.
President de Sampaio called early elections due to widespread discontent with the previous right wing government’s policies, the country’s poor economic situation and growing joblessness.
On taking office, Socrates pledged to tackle unemployment and the budget deficit. But his policies of cutbacks are only increasing the burdens on working people.
The CWI leaflet supports calls for a two-day strike against attacks on the public sector and calls for a national strike. Lisbon council workers have already decided to strike against cuts in December.
The leaflet also includes a translation of a recent French CWI leaflet, which was produced and distributed, last weekend, in response to the riots in Paris and across France.
The Portuguese leaflet warns that with continuing government cutbacks and falling living standards, and without a determined union fight-back and a principled mass socialist opposition, desperation could develop in some of the most downtrodden urban areas and riots could also erupt in Portugal.
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