Re: Strategic investment
Chip fabs aren't normal factories. They tend to be insanely expensive to build, and so the chip companies run them constantly for as long as they can manage, to get back their investment. The article says Magdeburg is going to cost $30 billion. This means that it's a lot harder to just walk away when the subsidies end.
Not that I disagree that this subsidy doesn't just end up being a handout to Intel's shareholders. And I suspect not all that strategic. Tempting TSMC to build fabs outside Taiwan so we don't lose as much global capacity if China invades Taiwan makes a lot of sense. There's an argument Taiwan's government should try to stop it, to incentivise the rest of the world to help them deter China more effectively. Having an Intel fab in Germany, rather than say the US or Malaysia or even another EU country risks wasting subsidies for little gain.
But I wonder if it's because the German government has got these two massive off-budget funds for climate change & digital tranformation and for the Zeitenwende (foreign policy / military re-think). They have a constitutional balanced budget - and these are convenient ways to break it. But because they're not regular spending it's then hard to find things to spend them on effectively. Germany is struggling to spend it's military fund, and there's some suggestion that with Ukraine having fought Russia to a standstill, maybe it doesn't need to - and that cash can go to more popular (vote-winning) spending too?