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Why 2017 Will Be Even More Dramatic Than 2016 For Europe

Before you get too comfortable thinking 2017 will be better, let's take a quick look at some of the European drama in store.

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Hello, people of the internet. If you're anything like us, you were alive for the duration of the year 2016.

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Whatever your opinions of The Current State of Things, nobody could deny that this year has been.............................................................. a lot.

Here's the thing, though: We can't just act like 2017 is gonna turn up like, "Hello, I am calm and peaceful and here to save you all!"

2013: It'll all be better in 2014 2014: It'll all be better in 2015 2015: It'll all be better in 2016 2016: It'll all be better in 2017

Because for one thing, we should have learned by now that strange and unexpected things can and will happen.

But even more importantly: The biggest events of 2016 – the Brexit process and the whole, uh, Trump thing – will actually begin in 2017.

Seriously In 20 years time and you're at a pub quiz and a question starts with "in what year" Just answer 2016

The answer to every pub question will be 2016 or 2017. Or 2018. Or 2019. (If there are still pubs, quizzes, and a world by then.)

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But before we look at what's in store for Europe, everything from relations with Russia to the future of NATO will depend on what happens after these two m8s take office on Friday, 20 January.

This, of course, means that the policies we have heard from Trump the candidate, and Trump the witching-hour-fever-dream tweeter, can finally become a reality.

It's freezing and snowing in New York--we need global warming!

The rest of the world will be watching closely, because Trump's policies on multiple issues of foreign policy are pretty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ at the moment.

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Russia sanctions? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The Iran nuclear deal? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Relations with China? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The Middle East? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If you're still not sure what Article 50 is, either read this or watch this Vine.

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And, well, once that's happened we enter two years of negotiations in which Brexit actually happens.

Twitter: @kdramacool

It's important to remember that Brexit hasn't happened yet. Not even a little bit. But in 2017 the debate about whether Brexit should still happen will become irrelevant: The date of the UK’s departure from the EU will be set in 2017. So. Yeah.

But what's up with the rest of Europe?

we're all thinking it #EURefResults

Well, remember how US intelligence says a Russian group called Fancy Bear hacked the DNC?

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And then those spicy emails were published by WikiLeaks just before the US presidential election? And how the CIA now believes that Russia meddled in the US presidential election through these hacks to bolster Donald Trump's chances of winning?

WELL GUESS WHAT: The German parliament was hacked by the same group, and earlier this month WikiLeaks published some documents that German intelligence believe were from that hack.

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There’s more: The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says Russia is trying to destabilise the country through cyberattacks and disinformation. And guess what: Germany holds a general election next autumn.

Everybody loves an election.

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The two frontrunners are the right-wing former prime minister Francois Fillon, and the far-right Marine Le Pen. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

So far Le Pen is trailing in the polls to Fillon, but also if you still believe in polls at this point, you're probably a twat.

And guess who else is probably voting in 2017? Italy, aka the third-largest country in the eurozone.

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Matteo Renzi resigned as prime minister following a defeat in a referendum earlier this month. Friendly piece of advice to prime ministers everywhere: Don’t stake your career on a referendum! You'll end up fucked.

There are currently no plans for an early election, but Italian governments don’t last long at the best of times*, and nobody (not even its own ministers) expects this one to make it through the whole year.

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*This joke is not offensive because it was written by an IRL Italian.

In other western European countries there tends to be one strong populist party or candidate. Well, in Italy there are two, and one of them, the Five Star Movement, is currently leading in the polls.

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Imagine a country with two Nigel Farages or two Donald Trumps battling it out.

Or don't. Just close your eyes and think about pasta instead. It's Christmas.

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At this point you're probably asking yourself: But are there any OTHER European countries having a terrifying election next year?

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"I WISH THERE WERE AN ELECTION IN EVERY COUNTRY EVERY SINGLE DAY!" you scream into the abyss.

WELL DO WE HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS FOR YOU!

Why, yes! The Netherlands is also having an election!

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They may not have two populists in with a chance of winning, but the one far-right leader they do have, Geert Wilders, is about as far-right as they come. For example, just this month he was found guilty of inciting discrimination in a hate speech trial. Classic Geert!

Geert has promised to make the Netherlands great again, but has NOT promised to get a goddamn haircut.

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His party, the Party for Freedom, is leading in the polls – although the Netherlands has a proportional voting system, which means it is highly unlikely that any one party would be able to govern alone.

But also, down is up and up is down and nothing is real and time is a flat circle.

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And closer.

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As Europe and the US's ability and willingness to influence world affairs declines, Russia and Turkey could end up filling the void they leave behind.

Anyway, that's just Europe!

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Don't forget about all the other bad and terrifying and unpredictable things that can and will happen across the world, including but not limited to the continuing bloodshed in Syria, the ongoing global refugee crisis, and, of course, the soon-to-be-irreversible destruction of life on Earth itself thanks to climate change.

But on the plus side, nobody has to worry about those dodgy emails any more!

Hooray.

Hannah Jewell is a senior staff writer for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Hannah Jewell at hannah.jewell@buzzfeed.com.

Alberto Nardelli is Europe editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alberto Nardelli at alberto.nardelli@buzzfeed.com.

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