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Tax on tech giants could be an obstacle on road to recovery

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the European Parliament on proposals to kickstart economic activity in the economic activity in the bloc ravaged by the coronavirus ravaged bloc. Photo: Reuters

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the European Parliament on proposals to kickstart economic activity in the economic activity in the bloc ravaged by the coronavirus ravaged bloc. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the European Parliament on proposals to kickstart economic activity in the economic activity in the bloc ravaged by the coronavirus ravaged bloc. Photo: Reuters

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.