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Schulz hits the street again in Portugal

Martin Schulz again took his election campaign out onto the street with European voters today in Lisbon. In an intense programme of activities he visited a factory and two social projects in the Lisbon area. Schulz also held a joint press conference with Portuguese Socialist Party leader António José  Seguro. Schulz closed his day of campaigning with a keynote dinner speech on economic governance to an audience of trade unionists entrepreneurs and academics in Porto.

Schulz continues to energetically campaign across Europe. He explained the new democratic process for electing the Commission President to those he met in Portugal. “You have a chance in May to vote for the first time for a European Commission President. I want to be the first candidate who is not appointed as part of a backroom deal but based on the wishes of Europe’s voters."

Campaigning alongside the Socialist Party leader and its European candidates there was a clear message against the harsh austerity-only policies imposed on Portuguese people under the troika programme. Schulz highlighted the heavy price that has been paid for bank bailouts by the most vulnerable people in society. “Over one in every three young people in Portugal is now without a job,” said Schulz, “I do not accept that our young people must pay with their life chances for the mistakes made by other people.”

Schulz also spoke about the importance of investment for generating growth in Portugal. Visiting a factory in Setubal, he promised support for strategic investment programmes under his Commission Presidency, “I want us to develop a smart industrial policy, where European companies again design innovative new products, which are built in European factories by European workers, and then shipped from European docks like those in Lisbon to the rest of the world.”

Drawing a clear distinction with rival parties, who have tried to distance themselves from their actions of the past five years, Schulz told journalists that his European Commission would put citizens at the heart of its decision-making. “I want a Europe that is built around its citizens, not dependent on the wishes of speculators and banks.” He went on to underline the importance of social dialogue and workers’ rights for a future socialist Commission. Schulz pledged that there will be regular consultation of labour unions by policy makers, and that he would promote a system of minimum salaries in member states of the EU, which ensures a decent standard of living.

Schulz returns to Brussels on 7 May to set out his policy priorities, followed by TV debates on 8 May in Germany and 9 May in Florence. He then travels to Malta, Spain and Poland over the weekend.

For more details of the campaign please visit www.martin-schulz.eu

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