It was expected and anticipated. Protests do occur when government restrict, or reduce, public spending and reform the role of public services in our lives. It is a natural function of political debates.
The European Union did not, however, prepare for a scenario of large scale revolts in Greece, Spain and soon to be Portugal. Young people in Greece and Spain are not just protesting against the austerity measures imposed of them by the IMF and European Central Bank; the political system, in their eyes, is the heart of the problem.
European history is soaked in the most richest of revolutionary acts; Europeans, by nature, are more passionate about liberties and -unlike our American cousins- are willing to lacerate the current political arrangement to pieces. If necessary.
The catalyst for the French Revolution and destruction of the ancien régime was inflation on the price of bread. An innocent product in contemporary eyes provided the environment to remove Louis XVI. And his head, too.
A tempest is gathering across European capitals and it would be unwise for governments to ignore them.