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25 Feb, 2009 10:11

Obama promises economic recovery

Barack Obama said it will take time, but the U.S. economy will recover from its crisis. The economy was the main topic of the president’s first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

“Slowly but surely our confidence will return and our economy will recover,” Barack Obama said.

“The United States of America will emerge stronger than before,” he added.

The 52-minute long speech started and ended with a rousing ovation.

Obama said his administration is moving “swiftly and aggressively” to help the country’s economy.

The President stressed that saving US financial institutions will require more than the US$ 700 billion already allocated to do it. But the banks will be "fully accountable for the assistance they receive''.

He explained that the stimulus plan is not about helping the banks, but about helping people.

According to Obama, the U.S. budget will address three key areas, which are energy, health care and education.

Obama said he’s planning to double investment in renewable energy. He also emphasized that “health care reform cannot wait” and it “will not wait another year”.

Obama set a goal for the U.S. to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Defence and foreign policy were also mentioned in the address.

Barack Obama says he wants to raise the pay for U.S. fighting forces and improve health care and benefits for veterans.

He promised to announce a way to responsibly end the war in Iraq and soon create a new path for the war in Afghanistan.