Taxpayers forking out £1,400 for Edinburgh Lord Provost to watch Euro 2024 game

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge. Picture: Alan Simpson.
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

Edinburgh's Lord Provost, Robert Aldridge, has secured tickets to the Euro 2024 opener against hosts Germany next month, with taxpayers set to cover the £1400 bill.

The invitation comes from Munich's mayor, Dieter Reiter, as a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the twinning agreement between Edinburgh and Munich, established in 1954 post-World War II.

Despite concerns over air travel's impact on the council's carbon footprint, an upcoming Edinburgh Council committee meeting is expected to approve Aldridge's attendance. Council policy encourages officials to consider eco-friendlier travel alternatives, but a report suggests that a train journey would take 15 hours with three transfers, necessitating two additional overnight stays and increased costs.

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Therefore, it recommends air travel as the most efficient and cost-effective option. The total cost for the three-day trip, including accommodation provided by Munich's mayor for Aldridge and a council officer, is estimated at £1400.

Aldridge expressed his excitement: "I'm very much looking forward to visiting our sister city of Munich and celebrating the 70th anniversary of our twinning arrangement, the oldest relationship of its kind. To be able to cheer on the Scotland national team in their opening game at the Allianz Arena is a great privilege for me and I have no doubt that the Tartan Army will be in full voice.", reports the Daily Record.

Angus "Air Miles" Robertson, the Scottish Government's Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary, will also be present in the VIP section.

The MSP, who has already undertaken three international trips this year, was representing Scotland at Tartan Week in New York last month.

Details regarding the costs of Robertson's trip to Munich, which includes accompanying officials, will be disclosed by the Scottish Government at a later date.

An estimated 200,000 fans of the Tartan Army are set to descend upon Germany for the games, with only 10,000 securing tickets for the opening match at Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, which boasts a capacity of 70,000.