The Portuguese Communist Party opened a two-day national conference on Saturday (4 June) to discuss the country's economic crisis and to propose means of overcoming it.
GV EXT Sports pavilion, Lisbon
GV delegates with raised arms signing
SV PAN delegates on platform applauding
GV audience applauding
GV delegates waving arms, clapping and then sitting down
SCU Communist Party Secretary General Alvaro Cunhal (right) looking at documents
GV PAN crowd in hall
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Background: The Portuguese Communist Party opened a two-day national conference on Saturday (4 June) to discuss the country's economic crisis and to propose means of overcoming it.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting was held at the Sports Pavilion in Lisbon and took as its theme the title "How to get out of the crisis with the workers in a great national effort." 950 party delegates attended, together with 4,000 guests. The proceedings started in mood of patriotic fervour - before moving on the serious business of the day. The conference follows a meeting last Wednesday (1 June) between Portugal two major non-communist opposition parties.
The agenda for the conference included representatives of all sectors of industry and agriculture outlining their problems and suggesting how productivity could be increased. The communist party is the fourth largest single political grouping in Portugal and Secretary General Alvaro Cunhal said recently that he is not interested in bringing about the collapse of the Socialist government of Prime Minister Mario Soares. Senhor Cunhal has however, frequently called for a communist-socialist alliance.
But Dr Soares, whose government has been in office for 10 months, has ignored invitations form the communists to form a majority government of the left. He has also rejected suggestions of an alliance with the right.
Senhor Cunhal, seen here on the right, presided over the opening day of the communist conference. In past months the Socialists and Communists have been quarrelling bitterly over land reform and relations between workers and management in industry, making the possibility of an alliance between them even more remote.