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In Washington DC, there is a sigh of relief that the elections are now over but also a concern over what will happen now. President Obama has vowed to hit the ground running upon his return to the White House. But he has less than seven weeks to resolve the fiscal cliff which is the legislative equivalent of a slow-motion train wreck that Congress and President Obama can avoid … but only if they work together,

When Euronews asked people on the streets of the US capital if they thought the fiscal cliff could be avoided, there was a mixed response.

“ I’m a little bit scared but not terribly.” said one woman.“I think Mitt Romey could have probably done a better job of getting us through it but it is what it is.”

“I do not think it will be avoided,” said another man, “I just don’t think there is enough time left to solve the issues”. But a second man was more optimistic, saying “ I don’t think it’s going to be a big thing. I think they’ll resolve something way before the automatic triggers (taxes and cuts) come into effect.”

Euronews correspondent Valerie Zebriskie says the question now is whether Obama can unite a country which remains deeply divided over its future. At stake is a fiscal cliff that, if not avoided, could lead to 7 trillion dollars of tax increases and public spending cuts over the next decade. And it is this fear that many hope will push not only Americans, but their government, to work together.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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