Ireland's austerity plan
Ireland's austerity plan will look familiar to anybody who has studied all the others generated off the back of the banking crisis. Higher VAT, pension cuts, minimum wage cuts, tax rises for the lower paid, benefit cuts - and cuts in public services.
And it has the same hit-and-hope element as many: that growth will mean the cuts eventually balance the budget. And that growth will be driven by exports.
Ireland's two big export markets are the USA and the UK (at about 18% of total exports each). This month the USA has voluntarily tanked the value of its own currency, and the UK's central bank is revelling in its own past achievements in that regard. Indeed the UK has adopted the view that its own deficit reduction plans will be driven by export led growth. Yet Ireland cannot devalue its own currency to achieve the export-led growth.
So it is dependent on a) a more general recovery across the Eurozone and/or b) successfully competing for high value inward investment by, for example, speculative finance industries or high tech, high value global operations.
The scale of the austerity is massive: on average, each Irish family will pay an extra €3,000 in tax, while wages and benefits will fall.
Yet Ireland is predicting growth will bounce back to an average 2.75% from next year to 2014.
To be clear - if it does not, then even this draconian budget will not put Ireland back on track to meeting the Maastricht rules. And the markets clearly believe there is little chance of the growth story coming true.
Since 2pm the cost of borrowing for Ireland has crept upwards.
But slashing your budget it is something you can control. What we need to know now is the answer to the bigger question: can they save the Irish banks and does the EU/IMF bailout staunch the contagion that is driving borrowing costs up for all governments in peripheral Europe. This depends on factors they cannot control.
Commentators are now noting loudly - as they did on Newsnight last night - that there is now effectively a two-tier Eurozone: on bond yields, on credit ratings, on deficit reduction plans, on banking stability. The authorities, above all in Germany, have begun to speak regularly about the Euro being "under threat".
What is missing is an idea of a vision of what a post-crisis Eurozone might look like. As they focus on the near-horizon crisis, Europe's leaders (as opposed to national governments) are struggling to communicate what the desired end-state is.