Spain's Telefonica to cut bills of jobless customers
The company wants to be a leader in helping to reduce the effects of the economic crisis, it said.Madrid -- Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica Tuesday announced it planned to slash the bills of some of its customers who are unemployed in a bid to help combat the effects of the economic crisis.
"Our group, in its position as a leader ... must give a sign and redirect its commercial offers to satisfy the new need to keep costs under control" of our customers, said the head of Spanish operations, Guillermo Ansaldo.
Various measures proposed include "a rebate of up to 50 percent on bills for customers who are unemployed, with a monthly limit of 20 euros per bill," a Telefonica statement said.
Those who want to benefit must have been Telefonica customers for at least six months.
Spain's economy, the fifth largest in Europe, entered into recession at the end of last year as the global financial crisis exacerbated a correction that was already underway in the construction sector, the engine of its growth.
The slump pushed the unemployment rate to 13.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, the highest level in the 27-nation European Union.