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23rd Feb 2019

Europe awaits 'new deal' from President Obama

Europe has welcomed the victory of the democratic candidate in the US presidential elections, with the French leader Nicolas Sarkozy praising the choice of "change" and "optimism" by the American voters, while Brussels urged for a "new deal in a new world" under the leadership of Barack Obama.

"This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement released early Wednesday (5 November), minutes before Senator Obama appeared to meet his supporters in his hometown of Chicago after his victory was confirmed.

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  • Because of this election, "change has come to America," Barack Obama told his supporters in Chicago (Photo: barackobama.com)

Mr Barroso assured the US President-elect of his support when both Brussels and Washington will "face together the many challenges ahead of us."

"We need a new deal for a new world. I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal," he added, using the same term as the Democratic predecessor of Obama in the White House, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Back in 1930s, President Roosevelt presented his New Deal initiative as a way to boost jobs and public investment to revive the economy battered by the Great Depression, a global economic crisis often referred to in comparisons to the current financial turbulence.

Mr Obama is due to attend the first global summit organised by the outgoing US president George W. Bush under the initiative of Europe, in Washington on 15 November which could see an opening of a series of high-profile debates about the reform of the international financial system.

Optimistic choice

But despite the grim economic circumstances across the globe, for supporters of Barack Obama, the first Afro-American to take up the top US job, the election night was full of joy and positive emotions.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy whose country is currently chairing the EU congratulated him for the "brilliant victory," noting "By choosing you, the American nation has chosen change, openness and optimism."

"It would give an excellent message to the people of the EU if Barack Obama were to make a speech in the European Parliament during his first visit to Europe," the parliament's president, Hans Gert Poettering, said in his statement of congratulation.

"This way he could address the almost 500 million citizens of the European Union," he added.

The triumph of Barack Obama, 47, in the historic elections - followed with great interest worldwide - became evident after he had captured the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and later also Florida, Virginia and Colorado - all of which voted Republican in 2004.

In some states, like Indiana and and North Carolina, the votes seemed very tightly distributed between the two candidates but at 07.00 Brussels time the polls stood at 51.3 percent for the Democratic Senator from Illinois, against 47.4 percent for Arizona Senator Mr McCain, the BBC reported.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," Mr Obama said to the crowds in Grand Park, Chicago.

Senator McCain congratulated his rival, saying "I deeply admire and commend" Mr Obama and called on his supporters to rally behind their new leader.

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