Mariana Mortágua: dialogue with PS is “possible”, but “you have to decide what you want to be” | Interview

Four years after the “contraption”, Mariana Mortágua admits confluences with the PCP, with whom, she says, the Bloc meets “in many places of democratic life”, and also “with many people from the PS”. But regarding future understandings with the socialists, while admitting that “dialogue is always possible”, she guarantees that with this absolute majority, the Bloc can only “create alternatives”. Even with António Costa out of the equation and Pedro Nuno Santos at the head of the party, everything depends on what the PS decides “what it wants to be in the future”, challenges the candidate for bloquista leader in an interview with PÚBLICO/Renascença’s Hora da Verdade.

To what extent is a dialogue with the PS possible in the near future?
The PS has to decide what it wants to be in the future. At the moment, the PS is an absolute majority that has not been free, that has not fulfilled its promises, neither in form nor in content, because it is no longer dialoguing, it has greater arrogance and creates more instability in the country.

Is there no dialogue possible then?
There is always dialogue possible. Dialogue is not a decision, it is not a question of affirmation, there is no calculation behind it, but there are policies. Politics determines the dialogue.

In a scenario without António Costa, do they continue to reject agreements with the PS or will it still be possible in the future?
The PS that exists is the PS of today, committed to an absolute and arrogant majority that has chosen a side. When it chose not to raise wages and pursued a policy of specific support, while protecting extraordinary profits from inflation, this absolute majority chose one side and that side impoverishes people and creates inequalities in the country. It is a government against the people, against the people. And it is in relation to this absolute majority that I have the obligation and the duty to position myself. And I have an even greater duty, which is to create alternatives and present solutions to people. The left exists for that, it doesn’t exist to be just a protest, just a complaint, although it does so very clearly.

In the initial topics of the motion, they admitted that the BE was going to “look for political convergences on the left with the PCP and other forces”, but in the final motion they removed the reference to the PCP. Why? Do they no longer admit of an understanding?
The understandings that BE seeks, and which are the ones that count because they are the lasting ones, are the understandings around policies, that is, it is necessary to fight real estate speculation, fight for better wages and salary updates, for measures to combat precariousness, by the SNS and by investment in Health. It is around these proposals that a social movement is built and it is in this social movement in which BE certainly participates — with its proposals, its activists, its capacity — that we find ourselves, not only with the PCP, with everyone on the left, with many people from the PS who do not give up and who continue to believe that it is possible to live better.

Is there any kind of articulation between the BE and the PCP to call for social protest in the street?
The BE and the PCP meet in many places in democratic life, we have a lot of coincidence in votes in Parliament, in essential matters and certainly we also meet in many claims in social movements. We are part of a left that is much larger than the BE and the PCP, of a people on the left who do not give up and believe in this project of solidarity and reject the idea of ​​right-wing savagery. I think that in this space there is always a desire for a confluence of forces and energy.

Mariana Mortágua, Pedro Nuno Santos and Paulo Raimundo: is this a scenario you would like to see?
We have to move away from these types of scenarios [futuristas] because, frankly, they are of no use, except to feed journalistic scenarios and political commentary. Politics is different, politics is not based on this type of calculation. What matters is whether it is possible to affirm an alternative project. Is there or is there not a social majority for this? Without that, nothing is done.

But a dialogue with Pedro Nuno Santos, as Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs, was possible. Imagining it might be an easier understanding. Is it or is not it?
In the past we had important dialogues and found important and loyal interlocutors. (…) but, to be fair, I think we deceive people when we tell them that doing one thing or doing another depends on people being nicer, less nice, on having a better personal relationship or a worse personal relationship. That agreement ended when António Costa decided that he wanted an absolute majority and that doesn’t depend on personal relationships, that depends on political projects. (…) And the PS will have to decide which one is yours.

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