First Minister Jack McConnell and Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen today met with the management of Iberdrola, the Spanish company bidding to buy ScottishPower, at government offices in Glasgow.
Afterwards Mr McConnell said:
"It's important first of all to say that any bid had to be accepted by the shareholders of Scottish Power, and it had to follow the due process of competition policy and law both in the UK and across Europe.
"Following constructive discussion this morning, it's clear that should the bid be successful the management of Iberdrola are not only committed to the existing conditions for service of employees in Scotland, but crucially, the existing Scottish identity of ScottishPower and the corporate headquarters here in Glasgow - that is important for Scotland.
"They are committed to the existing investment programme of ScottishPower at Longannet and in renewables, and most importantly for the longer term they have opened up the opportunity for us in Scotland to bid for and to secure further investment in Scotland in the energy industry.
You would not really expect the First Minister to say that the meeting had been anything other than constructive, would you? But, crucially, the Iberdrola commitment is to the existing conditions of service of Scottish Power employees - this is rather different from assurances that jobs will not be lost. If Mr McConnell had received any assurances that jobs will not be lost, he would have said so. Instead we get the weasel words about conditions of service.