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Mr Soros, who is in London for the launch of his new book, Soros on Soros, said yesterday that he was "strongly in favour" of European monetary union and saw a Labour government as more likely to be able to engineer British membership. He reckoned, however, that the changes of Europe achieving monetary union were only 50/50, and he was sure that if it did happen, Britain would not be part of it. Opposition among British people was too strong.

His support for Labour was apparently based more on its pro-European stance than any specific policies. But he was critical of the Government's failure to support his efforts in 1990 to establish a fund for the economic reconstruction of Eastern Europe similar to the post-war Marshall Plan.