The New Year brings an abundance of good things to look forward to

To make everyone feel better, here are some reasons to be happy in 2022.

The Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on January 9. It is the best international football competition. Hope Covid doesn’t ruin it.

The World Cup starts on November 21. It is the second best international football competition. FIFA doesn’t care about anything except their bottom line, so nothing will get in the way of this event.

The French presidential election will take place in mid-April. Although not quite the sport spectacle of the first two, the result will have a huge impact on the future shape of Europe. If you REALLY want a football element, how about that – current French President Emmanuel Macron’s favorite player growing up was none other than Chris Waddle. That’s right, fans of fact – he supports Marseille.

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Germany will phase out the use of its final nuclear power plants this coming year. The exact date is unknown. It was a curious gesture from Angela Merkel to get rid of them. How Germany generates electricity and achieves its green targets will be fascinating to the world to see.

China will host the Winter Olympics and hold elections (behind closed doors and rather secret) for the leadership of the Communist Party of China. It is not clear whether the growing diplomatic imbroglio around the Winter Games will affect the vote. But both will have big implications for the rest of the world. Never before has ski jumping had such an impact on global economic trends.

I realize I said this list was going to make everyone feel better. It has turned a bit around. Maybe it’s time for a mini Bounty.

Paul McNamee is editor-in-chief of The Big Issue. Read the rest of his columns here.


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