Socialist MEP Marcos Perestrello today praised the priority given by the PS and the Government to the need to honour, recognise and support former fighters, materialized by the presentation of the bill approving the Statute of Old Combatant, underlining this is a topic that should merit "broad political convergence." The Socialist Party welcomes the initiative of the Government to present in this House a proposal for the Statute of the Former Combatant, correcting a collective failure of decades, failed without justification at the end of the last legislature, but in good time, now, resumed," he said.
Marcos Perestrello recalled that "close to one and a half million Portuguese served Portugal in the Armed Forces in the long 13 years of the Colonial War" and argued that all fighters deserve to "be recognized, respected and deserving of public gratitude, recognition and solidarity of the Portuguese State." With this proposed law, the Government enshrines a set of social and economic support rights and instruments already recognised to former combatants, as well as other benefits, such as increasing the value of the special pension complement, the creation of the Single Balcony of Defense, the Center for Stress Resources in Military Context and the National Support Network. The Executive also creates the Action Plan for Support for the Military Disabled and the Technical Unit for the Former Combatants.The Socialist parliamentarian did not fail to note that, in addition to the government's bill, today also discussed initiatives of the PSD and the Bloc joining three others already debated in December from the PCP, CDS and PAN. "We are used to digging deep trenches in Parliament and worrying above all about accentuating differences and looking for the cleavage points between each party, but a balanced and cohesive society also needs convergence points," he said . Marcos Perestrello stressed that, by reading the six diplomas, he understood that "we are faced with a theme in which it will be possible to find a broad political convergence that will allow us to build a common and unique text in which we will all recognize ourselves and that will be approved by a large majority." "So we are able to materialize the recognition of the State Portuguese the military who fought at the service of Portugal through a statute that incorporates social and economic support instruments into a financially sustainable framework," he added. The Socialist Party deputy then left a tribute to the League of Fighters for the "100 years of history and work" and the Association of the Disabled armed forces for the 45 years, which, "before all, began to fight for the dignification of the fighters Portuguese." Gone are the times when those who returned from the war were left to their luck," he said.