alex Salmond said yesterday the success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will prove that Scotland has the ability to stage international events.
Addressing the international media gathered in Glasgow, he said: “These Games have been seven years in the making. They will take place over 11 days but their effects will be felt for generations to come. The impact will be felt all over the country.
“The Games have created employment opportunities all over Scotland for thousands of young people. These Games will change the lives of people in this country for the better.
“The venues have been open for some time and they are already proving to be powerful investments, paying their way before the Games has started. The Games will be delivered, to the relief of us all, within budget.”
Asked about whether he had sought the help of Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London, Mr Salmond praised the staff involved in the London Olympics for assisting with Glasgow’s preparations but quipped: “I haven’t had any individual advice from Boris himself but then I haven’t seen him for some considerable time.”
Mr Salmond also defended the action taken by Scotland in light of growing criticism of those Commonwealth countries where homosexulity is a criminal offence.
He said: “Our sports minister opened Pride Glasgow, which will have its message of equality and non-discrimination displayed, not just in the opening of one centre in Pride Glasgow, but the 70 events which are taking place as part of that initiative in Glasgow over the course of the Games.”