Photo: Mário Cruz/ Lusa

PCP sees red over comments by Ukrainian refugee association

“How can a democratic country even have a communist party?” queries Maksym Tarkivskyy

PCP communists are volubly smarting over comments made recently by the president of ‘Refugiados Ucranianos’ – one of a number of entities supporting the 34,000-odd Ukrainians who have made it to Portugal from the war zone that is now their homeland.

Maksym Tarkivskyy was speaking in the context of the Setúbal refugee screening row.

He told a ‘thank you’ rally in Lisbon over the weekend – an event to thank Portugal for all its help and support of refugees – that he cannot understand how “a democratic country can continue to have a communist party…”

“At this moment”, he said, “the party is basically supporting the war”.

It took two full days for the PCP to react, but react they have with a statement published today against what the party calls “fascist hatred against the PCP and the democratic regime”.

The problem with the refugee screening row is that it was bound to create endless ripples. Unfortunately this ripple is threatening to morph completely out of control.

The PCP, already curled in on itself from a battering at the ballot box in January, has now come out with every talon bared, literally spitting in fury.

The statement suggests Maksym Tarkivskyy’s comments “show the true antidemocratic nature of the government of Kiev (sic) and constitutes an intolerable affront to the democratic regime in Portugal.

“For those who harbour doubts about the total disrespect for democracy and freedom that has long been established in Ukraine, these statements, made in Portugal, alert to the power Ukraine exerts over its own people, and demonstrates its fascist reactionary character”.

Calling for “sovereign bodies” to take an “unequivocal stand”, the party even throws a barb at these bodies, accusing them of having been silent since the slur on PCP integrity.

Silence can be taken as being “an accomplice to such antidemocratic conceptions and propositions”, says the statement.

Thus in four days since Expresso’s ‘exclusive’ – lifting the lid off an outrage in communist-led Setúbal – the row continues to escalate to the point that people are in danger of forgetting where it started.

It started with Russian representatives of an association linked to sites created by the Kremlin being given the job of processing Ukrainian refugees – and taking it upon themselves, allegedly, to ask those refugees questions about relatives and husbands remaining behind in Ukraine.

According to Expresso, the Russians working photocopied identity documents – to what end no-one can be sure (particularly as the process led by SEF does not require photocopying of personal documents).

In other words, the complaints, if verified, will have been entirely justified – while the ripples are beginning to look like expedient noise.

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