Portuguese Communist Party Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal claims the country's minority Socialist government is in no position to restore the economy by itself.
Portuguese Communist Party Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal claims the country's minority Socialist government is in no position to restore the economy by itself. He was speaking at the end of a two-day Communist Party conference in Lisbon.
SYNOPSIS: The conference was called to discuss Portugal's economic crisis and to propose solutions. It was attended by 950 delegates and 4,000 guests in Lisbon's sports Pavilion.
Dr Cunhal told delegates that the national recovery programme urged by the Social and Centre Democrats could only lead to a new dictatorship. He offered help in forming a democratic alternative to the minority government.
A 53-page, document setting out the conference's conclusions warned of early financial collapse, unless Portugal drastically reduced its massive balance of payments deficit and boosted production and exports. The document called for austerity measures which included sharp cuts is non-essential imports and public spending, and strict economy in the use of energy. It also repeated the party's fierce opposition to Portuguese membership of the European Common Market.
In reply to the Communist suggestions, Prime Minister Mario Soares rejected either an alliance with the Communists or with the two major non-Communist parties. He said the government is solid because it has the confidence of the Portuguese people.