European text messagers raise millions for Asian tsunami victims
December 30th, 2004

Italian mobile phone users have donated more than 11 million euros (15 million dollars) for the victims of the Asian tsunamis through a text messaging arrangement that seemed to set a trend, reports the AFP .

“The Rome daily Corriere della Sera said Italians could contribute one euro to tsunami disaster relief every time they sent a text message, thanks to an agreement between the country’s four mobile phone companies and its main television channels.

Portugal’s biggest mobile phone company, TMN, urged its five million subscribers to do likewise, saying it would charge one euro per text message throughout January and donate the money to the Red Cross or other charities serving the Asian victims.

State-run France Telecom said it would launch a similar service on Monday for the benefit of the Red Cross and French charities and keep it going until the end of January.

In Finland, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, Nokia, said it had contributed to emergency relief in the tsunami-stricken areas, but would not confirm a report by the Red Cross that it had given 300,000 euros from its operations in Finland.

Italian newspapers also rushed to help. […] Corriere della Sera and the sporting daily Gazzetta dello Sport said they would contribute 0.10 euros from each newspaper sold on Friday to the relief funds.”

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