Europe: Widow sheds new light on Greek tragedy

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Dimitra Liani, controversial widow of Andreas Papandreou, the late Greek Prime Minister, has apologised for her literary shortcomings in a preview of her keenly awaited and emotional memoirs.

"I had become his tear. Running on his face as well! I hung from his lips! But no answer, silence!" says a typical passage in her book - 10 years and 54 days. Excerpts were published in Ta Nea, the Athens daily newspaper yesterday.

Liani, 42, widely known in Greece as Mimi, pens a passionate account of her life with Papandreou, who catapulted her from being an obscure flight attendant to Greece's first lady and his chief-of-staff.

She met Papandreou in 1989 while serving him drinks on an airliner and shocked the nation with their public extra-marital affair.

The book describes her life with Papandreou, his relations with friends and foes and his resignation as prime minister in rapidly failing health in January 1996.