Israel leans on Intel

Press reports from the Promised Land indicate that the Israeli government is getting a bit tetchy about Intel’s inability to decide about setting up a new fab.

The government has come up with the requisite about the amount of funds to provide a sweetener but Intel was just a girl that could not say yes.

Now it seems that the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour are losing patience and has given Intel an ultimatum to respond by early March.

An Israeli official has warned that if Intel does not respond by the deadline, the offer for the loan will expire. The government will give the money to another multinational, provided that it accepts the conditions to set up an R&D centre in Galilee.

Intel thinks that the sweetener it is being offered is not really enough, given that it is investing $5 billion to upgrade its fab in Kiryat Gat. But Israel has pointed out that since the outfit began operating in Israel it has had shedloads of grant cash.

Intel was supposed to reply to the government’s offer by the end of 2011, amid indications that the company was considering focusing its multibillion dollar investment in Ireland.

Now Intel is saying that due to the global economic crisis, it was postponing a decision on the matter until the second quarter of 2012.