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Premier Files For Divorce

March 30, 1989

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Premier Andreas Papandreou today filed for divorce from his American-born wife Margaret, the government announced.

A petition for the divorce was filed by Papandreou’s lawyer Athanasios Liapis before an Athens court and will be discussed on June 5, said government spokesman Sotiris Kostopoulos.

The premier had announced in October that he would seek an end to his 37- year marriage to the former Margaret Chant of Elmhurst, Ill.

Mrs. Papandreou, 66, who has been accused of delaying divorce proceedings, has said she was still waiting to see her husband to discuss details of their divorce.

Papandreou, 70, left his wife to live with his 34-year-old girlfriend, former Olympic Airways stewardess, Dimitra Liani, in October when he returned from London where he had undergone open-heart surgery.

The open relationship has offended some of the Socialist premier’s supporters and Liani has been accused by the news media of exerting her influence over government ministers and leading Papandreou to neglect his health.

The affair has played a major role in Papandreou’s waning popularity among voters, according to published public opinion polls.

The divorce could be issued in two months, shortly before the scheduled June 18 elections, only if Mrs. Papandreou agrees to grant it.

If both parties don’t agree, divorce proceedings could drag on for more than two years before the court sanctions a divorce.

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