The easiest job of a newspaper columnist is to make predictions about the coming year. This is because they are almost never held to account for what they say. By the time 12 months pass, everybody forgets. Not this year, not this column. Before offering a few guesses for 2018, let’s turn back the clock to a year ago.
Back then, the political mood was not looking good. Donald Trump had just won the US election, and Europeans were looking at a potential populist surge from elections in the The Netherlands, France and Germany. I predicted total disaster would be averted, that Angela Merkel would win in Germany (she did, but still hasn’t formed a government) and that Francois Fillon (remember him?) would defeat Marine Le Pen in France. Let’s call that half correct.
As for Slovak politics, I was also only partially successful. I guessed that Marian Kotleba would lose the regional election (he did), but also that Robert Kaliňák would be forced out as interior minister (wrong, short of committing murder there is nothing that can force this man from office). On a winning note, I also guessed that Mr Kaliňák would keep his 1990s style haircut (right again!).
The year 2018 should begin with a positive as well, when Slovakia wins the bronze medal in Olympic ice hockey.