Czechs unlikely to get euro soon

CZECH REPUBLIC - The Czech Republic will not be able to adopt the European single currency before 2007 at the earliest because of its huge budget deficit, the country's new finance minister has said.

The Financial Times on Thursday reported Bohuslav Sobotka as saying it would be optimistic to think the country could achieve a public finance deficit of below 3 per cent of gross domestic product before 2007.

This year the finance ministry estimates the deficit will reach 6.4 per cent, could climb