It was St Jerome who advised against looking a gift horse in the mouth, but he never said anything about unicorns. The exotic beasts which brought such fortune to our shores have long been in the sights of our European partners, who have cast covetous eyes on our tech sector.
Amid the fanfare to announce a plan to borrow €750bn to bankroll reconstruction efforts for the eurozone's battered economies, the commission also made known that it is exploring a new levy on large businesses, which could yield about €10bn a year. It would target big tech companies such as Facebook and Google.
Our long-standing relationship with big tech, and our reliance on foreign direct investment, means we will be hit harder than any other country in the eurozone.
Radical thinking is necessary to deal with the unique set of circumstances that the pandemic presents. But it would be hoped measures would not disproportionally affect an individual member to the extent they could impede recovery. Commission president Ursula von der Leyen is urging a transformation of the EU's finances.
The aim is to raise the astronomical sums from the capital markets, the bulk of which could then be used as grants.
So far so good. This is essential to avoid protracted recession. As she readily acknowledged, the problems Europe face are too grave to be fixed by any single state. "We either all go it alone, leaving countries, regions and people behind, and accepting a union of haves and have-nots, or we walk that road together, take that leap forward, we pave that strong path for our people and the next generation," she said.
But walking the road "together" will be difficult if one country is invidiously tethered by the new taxes. Tech giants know a day of reckoning is coming, but hitting them in one fell swoop at the wrong moment could have unforeseen and unintended consequences.
Clearly the EU must repurpose and reset for the coming decades.
Ambitions for the bloc in terms of taxation and expenditure and shoring up the euro are under review. There may be a case for accelerating decisions. The price may well be balanced against surrendering further autonomy and sovereignty. But moves must surely come as far as possible only after maximum consultation and agreement if charges of mission creep and a rush towards federalism are to be avoided.
As Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank president, warned, the eurozone's economy could shrink by as much as 12pc this year.
The so-called frugal states in the north are seeking to limit or exclude the use of borrowed money for grants. Whether they will agree with the proposals remains to be seen.
Crisis or not, whatever package is eventually agreed can not be hasty, nor can it be tilted in favour of richer states that can better afford more generous fiscal stimulus programmes, and absorb new taxes.