Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis on Tuesday denied reports that the Greek government had intervened to force President Nikos Christodoulides to remove former Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas from his post.

Speaking to journalists, he said “I can assure you that this is not true. The decision on the recent reshuffle was solely the choice of the President based on his own assessment. This claim is not true whichever way you look at it.”

Reports of Greek intervention to remove Giorgallas first appeared in Greek newspaper Estia, which wrote that he had been “beheaded at the request of Athens”.

The newspaper reported that Giorgallas’ reportedly robust attitude towards Turkey had “disturbed some circles in Athens, which promote reconciliation with Turkey.”

They later added that Mitsotakis had received orders from the United States’ Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on the matter, who himself was conveying a demand issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

These reports garnered attention from Greek MP and Greek Solution party leader Kyriakos Velopoulos, who said Mitsotakis “pressured the Cypriot President to sack his Defence minister after blackmail and demands from Blinken.”