Husband of ex minister transferred 1 mln euros

Dora Bakoyannis, a conservative former foreign minister and leader of the centrist party Democratic Alliance, on Tuesday put an end to days of feverish political speculation over the mystery transfer of one million euros abroad last year by saying that her husband, an entrepreneur, had used the sum to purchase of a ship.

In comments to reporters outside Parliament, Bakoyannis described the media frenzy over a simple business transaction by a non-politician as “an unbelievable farce.”

Bakoyannis said she was questioned by the vice president of Parliament, Vangelis Argyris, about a payment made to a London bank in March last year, and explained that the money had been related to an investment by her husband, Isidoros Kouvelos, the owner of a shipping firm. Bakoyannis said that her husband's money came from stocks on the New York exchange which were liquidated through a Greek bank and used to buy a ship in London.

Bakoyannis said she too had believed the media hype and had been among those demanding that the name of the person to be made public.

The former minister added that she believed an attempt was being made to “cover up politicians that had really transfered their money to Swiss bank accounts to save it from Greece.”

The furor began last Wednesday when the head of the country’s anti money-laundering agency claimed that an unidentified MP had removed one million euros in savings out of the country last spring even as authorities were appealing to Greek citizens not to panic in a bid to avert a bank run.

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