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Czech Leader Evokes Soros as Currency Risk to Foster Euro Entry

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Euro adoption would give the Czech Republic better protection against market speculators such as billionaire George Soros, President Milos Zeman said.

A majority of entrepreneurs Zeman has met see membership in the euro area as beneficial for their businesses and the country that joined the European Union in 2004 should be technically ready to adopt the common currency in five years, he said at a conference in Prague today.

“A national currency is much more at risk of attacks by speculators, such as Soros, than a strong currency, such as the euro, dollar, and maybe the yen,” Zeman said.

The Czech Republic, now in the longest recession since records began in 1996, doesn’t have a projected date for joining the euro. Premier Petr Necas has said the country will have to hold a referendum on joining Europe’s monetary union because the debt crisis is changing conditions for euro users.

In 1992, Soros and his then-chief strategist Stan Druckenmiller made a $10 billion wager that the Bank of England would be forced to devalue the pound, a trade that netted $1 billion.

Soros’s Quantum hedge fund gained about 20 percent a year on average since 1969, before he decided in 2011 to return money to outside clients. The fund now only manages assets for Soros and his family.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Laca in Prague at placa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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