With the riots already happening and the austerity measures beggining to cause panic it is interesting that the EU is making it clear that the barricades are not tall enough on Athenian streets.
What is at present pretty localised trouble in that unhappy country is set to get far far worse if this is anything to go by.
"They [the EU] are telling us the current measures will only cut two percentage points. They are pushing very hard for another package of around €4 billion," the official, who asked not to be identified. "Greece thinks a package of €2 billion to €2.5 billion will be enough to achieve the targets," he said.
The imperial accountants have swung in, and swung out and are to deliver their instructions to the provincial Greecian Government next week.
In order to meet those goals, the government has announced a series of spending cuts and tax increases that it believes will produce a combined €8 billion to €10 million in savings and additional revenue.
So far, those measures include a freeze on civil service wages, cutting public-sector entitlements by 10% on average, a fuel tax increase, and closing dozens of tax loopholes for certain professions—including some civil servants—who now pay less than their fair share in taxes.
But Greece's European partners remain unconvinced. Since the EU issued its rhetorical support for Greece on Feb. 12, EU members including Germany and France have demanded that Greece take further steps to close its budget gap before they commit to any specific financial support for the country. The new measures are likely to include an increase in the current value-added tax rate of 19%, more cuts in civil service entitlements, and higher duties on luxury items, like boats and expensive cars.
It is going to be a difficult spring.