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After Euphoria of Inauguration, Europe Watching What Obama Does


A sense of euphoria swept much of Europe as Barack Obama took the oath of office yesterday - and as he now begins his first full day as president - the world will watch not only what he says, but what he does.

The day after - and the headlines say it all. "Let the Remaking of America Begin," reads the front page of Britain's Guardian newspaper. Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung lauds "A New America," while France's Le Monde describes the inauguration as an "unforgettable day before the return to reality."

Euphoria swept through Europe as many watched the historic event on their television screens. European leaders were quick to congratulate the new president and pledge their support.

British Prime Minster Gordon Brown did just that during his weekly address to parliament Wednesday.

"I know the whole House [House of Commons] and the British people will wish to join the government in sending their best wishes to President Obama at the start of his presidency,"Mr.rown said. " I can assure the whole House we will maintain and strengthen our special relationship between our two countries."

In Paris, prominent French political analyst, Dominique Moisi says President Obama has already begun to change the image of America in Europe. But, the hard work, he says, still lies ahead.

"There are difficulties around the corner - when the president will turn toward Europeans and say to them, 'well thank you very much for having supported me so warmly but now I don't need your support in words, I need your support in deeds,"Moisi said. "I need your troops in Afghanistan - are you going to be willing to do that? Of course there will be tensions. There will be tensions when the Europeans realize that the priorities of the new administration are much more in Asia and the Middle East than in Europe."

Despite inevitable differences, Moisi says there is likely to be more collaboration between Europe and the new Obama administration on a number of issues - including global warming, the Middle East and dealing with Russia.

"The Americans under Obama claim - and I trust them - that they're going to be much more multilateral in their approach,"Moisi said. "The problem is that multilateralism is not enough. What America has to accept is that the world is becoming multi-polar, that without China, without India, maybe slightly less without the European Union, there is little the United States can achieve by themselves."

And so, after a day of ceremonies and parties - the real work begins and Europe will watch closely what President Obama says and does from here on.

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