Yes, after availing of the EU/IMF Stability Fund and paying a modest 5% rate of interest on the €110b in funding required to stabilise the country's finances, the IMF and the EU have insisted on the following austerity measures:
*Reduce the budget deficit from 13.6% to 3% by 2014
*Pay freeze on all public sector employees
*Scrapping the annual bonus scheme (basically a 20% bonus on wages)
*Increase in the retirement age from the current one of 62
*Full pension rights increased from minimum 37 to 40 years service
*Pensions to reflect average rather than final salary in the public sector
*VAT from 21% to 23%, increases to alcohol, cigarettes and fuel taxation
*Taxing of illegal construcion
*Privatisation of various state and semi-state bodies
Above we can see what the dreaded IMF will insist on just to provide Greece with the funding required to keep the nation afloat. Scary eh? Not really is it?
Let's be clear, regardless of our banking crisis and our incompetent governance, we are not Greece, not by a long way. Firstly we never lied about our balance of payments, we are a genuine open market economy, we have a generous corporate rate of tax, we have a language that everyone understands and we don't rely on tourism as an exclusive means to wealth.
So if we were to avail of the solidarity fund, how much worse would it be compared to the austerity measures that we have put in place and are going to put in place? Not a lot based on the evidence above.
But in the meantime, let's just destroy what's left of our economy while we pretend that the markets will allow us a sub-5% yield and that we can actually manage to get our deficit to 3% by 2014....