Three Greek ships that helped evacuate thousands of foreigners from Libya arrived back in Greece on Sunday, as sources revealed that the operation is helping boost the flagging fortunes of Greek coastal shipping companies.
Two ferries carrying about 4,200 passengers, mostly Chinese but also 750 Bangladeshis and 200 Vietnamese, docked at Iraklio, Crete. A ship carrying 390 evacuees, including Brazilians, Portuguese and British, arrived in Piraeus.
On Saturday, some 2,800 people disembarked at Iraklio after sailing on the Eleftherios Venizelos ferry.
A ferry carrying some 2,000 Chinese workers from Benghazi is expected in Crete on Monday.
Greece has pledged to help China rescue up to 15,000 of its citizens from Libya, where clashes between pro-democracy protestors and security forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gadhafi continue.
Sources told Kathimerini that the evacuation operation is providing a welcome financial boost for Greek coastal shipping companies as they are expected to earn in the region of 20 million euros for their services.