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Portugal: Left Bloc on Socialist Party and the EU Fiscal Compact law

The Socialist Party (PS) asks the Social Democrats (PSD) and (Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) to pretend that tomorrow there will be an addendum that everyone knows that will never exist, in exchange for the certainty of a treaty today that everyone knows is harmful. The PS wants to save face, not to protect jobs.

[Former socialist Portuguese president] Soares called on the PS to vote against the [EU fiscal compact] budget treaty. [The Socialist's 2011 Presidential candidate] Manuel Alegre urged the PS to vote against the budget treaty.[The current President] Cavaco Silva wrote that the treaty is nonsense. The PS said that the French will renegotiate it if they can. Members of the PS made assurances that they would vote against (let’s see if they keep to their word). All for one simple reason: the budget treaty prohibits European states from adopting anti-crisis policies, and therefore favours the destruction of health, social security or state education. The recession worsens. It becomes crueller…

Consequently, the PS said it would vote in favour.

But with one condition: that there is an addendum* to the European EU treaty, advocating economic measures against recession.

Now this is weird.

Firstly, because there is no addendum. It is not written. Nobody takes it seriously. Nothing indicates that there is a single government reopening the process of negotiating a treaty that ends with ratification. No one will present such a creature. The addendum does not exist. The PS isn’t fighting for anything.

But,secondly, let’s assume that the addendum will be proposed. Then, the PS could wish for it to oppose the sinister treaty and therefore that it gets accepted. But that’s not what the PS is doing. The PS now approves a treaty that it says it rejects, in the name of the eventual approval of an addendum that everyone is sure will never exist.

If the negotiation was serious, the PS would say the addendum must be approved now…and, if approved then we must accept the sacrifice of a treaty with which we disagree because it is mitigated by the addendum. It would be a negotiation with one condition: the PS gave the addendum and received the treaty. That would be taken seriously. It would be a condition, not a favour to Merkel. It would be weird, would be an unprincipled negotiation, would undermine Europe and Portugal, but it would be a negotiation.

But if it were a serious negotiation, time would be made for it. First the addendum, then the treaty….The PS could force a vote on the Treaty after the addendum was passed if it took seriously its own proposal.

Except that now there is not a negotiation. The PS asks the PSD and CDS to pretend that tomorrow there will be an addendum that everyone knows that will never exist, in exchange for the certainty of a treaty today that everyone knows is harmful. The PS wants to save face, not to protect jobs. The PS proposed to the Right a mask, it does not concern itself with a European response to the crisis. PS want to pretend to the Right that wants to end public policies.

Thirdly, this is weird because the PS rejects the principle of the deficit in the Constitution not because they disagree with it, apparently, but because they think is best hidden in another law. The problem is not politics, it is how they are presented….For the PS, the problem is not the future effect of this law on the lives of people who expect to be protected…The PS gives up everything, our rights for the future, in return for makeup that lasts until April 12.

The Right sees things clearly. The PS does not fight for anything, it accepts everything… The PS does not negotiate anything, imposes nothing, does not prejudge anything, goes for everything. Since the orientation is radical liberal in Europe, which has given the wonderful results we all celebrate. To be liberal, PS is obedient, meek, quiet.

Could [prime minister] Passos Coelho have expected any better? Do they want him to vote for the PS’ scary addendum that does not exist too?

Francisco Louçã, leader of the Left Bloc, which has 8 MPs in the Portugal’s parliament

* The Socialist Party said it would demand an “additional protocol” to the balance budget law that translates the recently agreed EU Fiscal Compact, dubbed the Permanent Austerity Treaty by critics, into national legislation


Translation by Revolting Europe

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or email [email protected]


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