The Portuguese Communist Party leader Alvaro Cunhal has denounced the economic policy of the new right-wing government.
GV AND PAN Massed demonstrators in main square of Arraiolos chanting during rain
SCU PULL BACK TO SV Communist leader Alvaro Cunhal speaking from ?ost?um in Portuguese
GV Crowd with red flags listen in rain (2 shots)
CU Communist emblem on microphone stand PULL BACK TO GV Cunhal speaking
GV AND PAN Supporters chanting and waving fists (2 shots)
CU Woman chanting
GV Supporters on rostrum PAN TO Cunhal leaving stand
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Background: The Portuguese Communist Party leader Alvaro Cunhal has denounced the economic policy of the new right-wing government. He told a rally of farmworkers on Sunday (2 March) that the government was trying to destroy the communist inspired land reforms of 1975 to secure a sweeping victory at next autumn's Parliamentary elections.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the heavy rain, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Arraiolos, in the heart of Portugal's grain producing belt.
They heard Communist Party leader, Alvaro Cunhal blame the policies of a new right-wing government for the soaring cost of living and denounce price increases since it took office last December (1979).
The Peasant collectives of the Alentjo region form the nucleus of the communist party's power base. At the beginning of the year, the government announced that some farms would be returned to the former landlords. Last week protesters blockaded the main road to the Spanish border. They called for the land to be owned by the workers and promised the struggle would continue.
Peasant wages are low and the communists have called for a parliamentary debate on the government's economic policies.