ATHENS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Greek government, armed forces generals and former high-ranking officials strongly dismissed a Greek newspaper report on Sunday which claimed authorities had averted a coup d'etat in the debt-ridden country last year.
Sunday's To Vima (The Tribune) daily, one of the major newspapers in Greece, published an extensive article about plans for a military coup d'etat shortly before former Prime Minister George Papandreou's resignation last November.
According to the report which does not openly name any suspect nor gives substantial evidence, as critics note, the replacement of the leadership of Greek armed forces that period was related to the case.
The scenario was immediately rebuked by Papandreou, Defense Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos, former Director of Greek National Intelligence Constantinos Bikas and former and current Chief of General Staff commanders of the Greek armed forces.
"Greek armed forces were, are and will be committed to the defense of national independence, as dictated by the Constitution. Everything else is unrealistic," said Panagiotopoulos.
"Then Prime Minister Papandreou was never informed about a possible coup," said a statement released by his office, noting that similar reports in foreign media last year have been dismissed.
Bikas also rejected the report, stressing that there was never such information, while on behalf of the armed forces, current Chief of General Staff Michalis Kostarakos and one of the generals who were replaced last year joined the chorus.
"Such claims are totally unfounded and an insult to Greek armed forces," said Kostarakos.
Retired General Frangoulis Frangos, who served as defense minister in the caretaker government which led Greece to national elections this June, also dismissed the report as "insulting and ridiculous."
Greece has been struggling to avoid a chaotic default and possible exit from the eurozone with multi-billion-euro bailout loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund since May 2010.
Political figures have been repeatedly verbally attacked over the past two years by groups of protesters who blamed them for the debt crisis and the chronic problems of the Greek state, such as corruption.
Sunday's report came a week after an uproar was caused by another article in a Greek daily claiming that dozens of politicians, including the Speaker of parliament, are under investigation for corruption scandals.