Well, no one can say the writing wasn't on the wall.
With Europe at a complete and total loss as to how to deal with the bloc's worst refugee crisis since World War II, countries have increasingly adopted their own, ad hoc "solutions" which include razor wire anti-migrant fences in Hungary and the suspension of Schengen in Austria, where the backlash against asylum seekers is growing more palpable by the day.
An ill-fated quota system devised by Berlin and Brussels proved more divisive than it did helpful and the wave of alleged sexual assaults that swept through the region on New Year's Eve threatens to derail the settlement effort altogther.
"We have until March, the summer maybe, for a European solution," one unnamed German official told Retuers last month. "Then Schengen goes down the drain."
"There is a big risk that Germany closes," another official said, suggesting that Angela Merkel may eventually bow to the domestic political pressure and reverse the country's open-door policy. "From there, no Schengen ... There is a risk that February could start a countdown to the end."
Well sure enough, reports now indicate that European officials are prepared to suspend Schengen for a period of 2 years. From Reuters:
- EU ENVOYS AGREE TO MOVE STEP CLOSER TO SUSPENDING SCHENGEN FOR TWO YEARS - SOURCE
Like a stock halted limit down on the Shenzhen, there's a very good chance that once suspended, Schengen will never again be open for "trading".