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2011 a "time of great challenge and progress", says Obama

The President of the United States made his New Year’s address today, telling Americans that the country can help create jobs and grow the economy by working together.

President Barack Obama making his New Year's address
President Barack Obama making his New Year's address

AMERICAN PRESIDENT BARACK Obama made his New Year’s address today – and spoke about how 2011 was “a time of great challenge, and great progress for our country”.

He reminded Americans that it was a year in which the country ended one war and began to wind down another, and where it “dealt a crippling blow to Al Quaeda and made our country more secure” – which referred to the death of Osama Bin Laden.

He spoke about how the United States stood by other countries during natural disasters and revolutions and how the USA itself was showing signs of economic recovery.

But, he cautioned, “there’s no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change” and said he is “hopeful we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger”.

President Obama said he was hopeful the country could grow the economy, create more jobs and strengthen the middle class.

He mentioned a number of positive changes that Congress had brought in, including extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance.

According to Obama, these changes were “only possible because you [American citizens] added your voices to the debate, on email, twitter and over the phone”.

You are the ones who make me hopeful about 2012.

He described 2012 as a “make or break moment for the middle class” and said that there are difficult debates and tough fights to come.

[I]n many ways the actions we take in the months ahead will help detemine what kind of country we want to be

He promised to do everything he can to make America a place where hardworking responsible people are rewarded and where everyone has a fair shot.

Before signing off, he asked people to keep reminding “folks in Washington” what’s in stake, as together they will move the country forward and guarantee every American the opportunities they deserve.

The President rounded off his speech with a thank you – from him, wife Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and Beau, the family dog.

Watch his full speech below:

Read: Obama marks the end of the Iraq war>

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