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G8 'GREAT FOR SCOTLAND' SAYS MINISTER

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The G8 summit presents an excellent opportunity for Scotland which can deliver significant long-term economic benef...
The G8 summit presents an excellent opportunity for Scotland which can deliver significant long-term economic benefits, the parliament was told.

The minister for finance and public service reform, Tom McCabe, told the Scottish Parliament that the people of Scotland and the devolved government are helping build the momentum to deliver genuine change across the world. Mr McCabe said: 'Just one month away from the summit, this is a welcome opportunity to debate the opportunities G8 offers Scotland. We have always recognised this summit as a tremendous economic opportunity.

'It is also an opportunity for our people to express their views and their wishes about how we spread our relative affluence around the world. The devolved government of Scotland and the people of Scotland can help build the political momentum for desperately-needed change in the most challenged parts of the world.

'The main prize, however, is our ability to build a political momentum which can affect lasting change in our world. It is ultimately for G8 leaders to take the critical decisions, but our preparations here in Scotland can create the climate for the right decisions and that is exactly why awareness of Africa and climate change has been heightened precisely because the G8 summit is taking place here.

'It is not in our nature as Scots to be effusive. But we will generate a sense of satisfaction and pride if the best small country in the world hosts a sincere and professional event which evokes in the rest of the world a determination to see meaningful change.'

Mr McCabe added: 'Overriding all of this is our desire for a safe summit which encourages democratic participation without unacceptable behaviour. Here in Scotland, we celebrate our democracy, our rights and our freedoms.

'And we welcome anyone who wants to come to celebrate these precious gifts with us. So we want to temper enthusiasm with common sense and urge people - as Midge Ure has done - only to come if they have somewhere to stay and if their aim is to take part legitimate campaigning activity.

'Our police will uphold the democratic right to protest. But they will also uphold the rights of Scottish residents to be able to go about their daily business without fear of unacceptable behaviour.'

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