The president of Intel in Israel has decried unfair and distorted media coverage of the issue of tax breaks for his company, Globes reported.
“There is a stigma over the tax breaks in the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investments. It’s unpleasant to read the newspaper every day. The newspaper does not even call to ask whether a report is right. We’ve become a country that crowns kings and then stones them. We have no trapped profits. People don’t understand that the tax breaks are legal. Every man in the street believes that I am stealing the money. We built a fab [a new processor fabrication plant] for $4 billion. Then they began to shout and we lost the fab to Ireland.
“So how much should we give: a little more than a country that competes against us. We have advantages, but we also have disadvantages, like the geopolitical situation. I don’t think that too much is being given to Intel. The fact is that we lost a fab to Ireland,” said Intel Israel president Mooly Eden.
Bank Hapoalim chairman Yair Seroussi backed up Eden in a recent panel discussion, saying that the tax breaks were passed in the 1980s, when he was at the Ministry of Finance.
“Times were different then; there was no money here,” he said. “Not just a fab was built here, but a huge industry, which is successful and resulted in an economic breakthrough. The same thing happened with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. A whole cluster of skilled and talented workers was established here. Why should we support this? Because every country wants these companies. How much? That’s a different budget matter.”
Eden said, “We became this way thanks to our policy of encouraging capital investment that everyone now opposes … The nation that we are today, the start-up nation, was created because of what we did in the past, not because of what we’re doing now. We’re now reaping the harvest of the correct policy of the past.”