The process of expropriation "occurs when a public agency (for example, the provincial government and its agencies, regional districts, municipalities, school boards, post-secondary institutions and utilities) takes private property for a purpose deemed to be in the public interest".[1] Unlike eminent domain, expropriation may also refer to the taking of private property by a private entity authorized by a government to take property in certain situations.

Due to political risks that are involved when countries engage in international business it is important to understand the expropriation risks and laws within each of the countries that business is conducted in order to understand the risks as an investor in that country.[2]


One example of expropriation occurred between the United States and Mexico in 1938 when the Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas signed an order that expropriated almost all of the foreign oil companies operating in Mexico. This initially turned out to have great negative consequences on the Mexican economy when their oil exports were boycotted by major oil companies, decreasing exports dramatically,[3] but later on the economic benefits of this move became apparent, with the new national oil company PEMEX being an important contributor to the Mexican Miracle,[4] and other countries soon followed with oil nationalization carried out in much of Latin America and the developing world.

Another example is the expropriation of Granahorrar Bank owned by Julio Carrizosa Mutis in Colombia in 1998 as part of the economic plan performed by the Colombian government to mitigate the financial crisis. In the late 90s, the Central Bank tried to reduce liquidity caused by the financial crisis and Granahorrar, which was at the time one of the highest rated financial institutions, suffered liquidity distress caused from the government's decisions.[5] As a result, the bank was expropriated without compensation and sold, on October 31, 2005, to the Spanish Bank BBVA.

In Venezuela, the massive expropriation plan that started in 2007, allowed to expropriate thousands of companies (from all strategic sectors) and land (arguing that those that were unproductive should be used to promote "food security and sovereignty").[6] Expropriation and nationalization was one of the characteristics of the government of Venezuelan ex-President Hugo Chávez and President Nicolás Maduro. The result has been negative consequences in the economic sector.[7]

Marxist theory

The term appears as "expropriation of expropriators (ruling classes)" in Marxist theory, and also as the slogan "Loot the looters!" ("грабь награбленное"), which was very popular during the Russian October Revolution.[8] The term is also used to describe nationalization campaigns by communist states, such as dekulakization and collectivization in the USSR.[9]

The term expropriation is found by late Marx writings, specifically in “Karl Marx: A letter to Otechestvenye Zapiski” to describe the process of turning agrarian/rural peasants into wage laborers/proletarians if the Russian country is to become a capitalist nation like that of the Western European nations.

See also


  1. ^ What is expropriation British Columbia Expropriation Compensation Board. Retrieved: 8 October 2012.
  2. ^ Flynn, Chris. Avoiding Expropriation and Managing Political Risk in Emerging Market. Lexology. p. 1.
  3. ^ Mexican Expropriation of Foreign Oil. US Department of State Office of the Historian. p. 1.
  4. ^ Crónica del petróleo en México (Spanish), Historical Archive of Mexican Petroleums (Pemex). http://petroleo.colmex.mx/images/stories/archivos/misc/cronica_petroleo_mexico.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/MAM-2735668
  6. ^ https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2012/01/111207_venezuela_economia_expropiaciones_chavez_jp
  7. ^ http://fedecamarasradio.com/expropiaciones/
  8. ^ Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: Russian Revolution, 1996, ISBN 0-7126-7327-X.
  9. ^ Richard Pipes Property and Freedom, Vintage Books, A division of Random House, Inc., New York, 1999, ISBN 0-375-70447-7, page 214.
1907 Tiflis bank robbery

The 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, also known as the Erivan Square expropriation, was an armed robbery on 26 June 1907 in the city of Tiflis in the Tiflis Governorate in the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire (now Georgia's capital, Tbilisi). A bank cash shipment was stolen by Bolsheviks to fund their revolutionary activities. The robbers attacked a bank stagecoach and surrounding police and military using bombs and guns while the stagecoach was transporting money through Erivan Square (now Freedom Square) between the post office and the Tiflis branch of the State Bank of the Russian Empire. The attack killed forty people and injured fifty others, according to official archive documents. The robbers escaped with 341,000 rubles (equivalent to around US 3.86 million in 2017).

The robbery was organized by a number of top-level Bolsheviks, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Maxim Litvinov, Leonid Krasin, and Alexander Bogdanov, and executed by a party of revolutionaries led by Stalin's early associate Ter-Petrosian (Kamo). Because such activities were explicitly prohibited by the 5th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), the robbery and the killings caused outrage within the party against the Bolsheviks (a faction within the RSDLP). As a result, Lenin and Stalin tried to distance themselves from the robbery. The events surrounding the incident and similar robberies split the Bolshevik leadership, with Lenin against Bogdanov and Krasin. Despite the success of the robbery and the large sum involved, the Bolsheviks could not use most of the large bank notes obtained from the robbery because their serial numbers were known to the police. Lenin conceived of a plan to have various individuals cash the large bank notes at once at various locations throughout Europe in January 1908, but this strategy failed, resulting in a number of arrests, worldwide publicity, and negative reaction from European social democrats.

Kamo was caught in Germany shortly after the robbery but successfully avoided a criminal trial by feigning insanity for more than three years. He managed to escape from his psychiatric ward but was captured two years later while planning another robbery. Kamo was then sentenced to death for his crimes including the 1907 robbery, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment; he was released after the 1917 Revolution. None of the other major participants or organizers of the robbery were ever brought to trial. After his death, a grave and monument to Kamo was erected near Erivan Square in Pushkin Gardens. This monument was later removed, and Kamo's remains moved elsewhere.

Aalborg Airport railway line

The Aalborg Airport railway line is an under construction railway designed to link Aalborg, Denmark with its airport, as part of an initiative to improve transport between the city and the airport.

It is expected to open in 2020 at a cost of 276 million DKK. The feasibility studies started in 2017 and are followed by detailed design and expropriation in 2018. The actual construction work will take place in 2019-2020. The line will start as a branch line north of Lindholm Station. A new station is being built at the airport, with a bridge being built over Lindholm Å.

Bilateral investment treaty

A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state. This type of investment is called foreign direct investment (FDI). BITs are established through trade pacts. A nineteenth-century forerunner of the BIT is the friendship, commerce, and navigation treaty (FCN).Most BITs grant investments made by an investor of one Contracting State in the territory of the other a number of guarantees, which typically include fair and equitable treatment, protection from expropriation, free transfer of means and full protection and security. The distinctive feature of many BITs is that they allow for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, whereby an investor whose rights under the BIT have been violated could have recourse to international arbitration, often under the auspices of the ICSID (International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes), rather than suing the host State in its own courts. This process is called investor-state dispute settlement.

The world's first BIT was signed on November 25, 1959 between Pakistan and Germany. There are currently more than 2500 BITs in force, involving most countries in the world. Influential capital exporting states usually negotiate BITs on the basis of their own "model" texts (such as the Indian or U.S. model BIT).

Chinese property law

Chinese property law has existed in various forms for centuries. After the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949, most land is owned by collectivities or by the state; the Property Law of the People's Republic of China passed in 2007 codified property rights.

Dilectissima Nobis

Dilectissima Nobis, "On Oppression of the Church of Spain", is an encyclical issued by Pope Pius XI on June 3, 1933, in which he decried persecution of the Church in Spain, citing the expropriation of all Church buildings, episcopal residences, parish houses, seminaries and monasteries. He protested "serious offenses committed against the Divine Majesty, with the numerous violations of His sacrosanct rights and with so many transgressions of His laws, We have sent to heaven fervent prayers asking God to pardon the offenses against Him".

Eminent domain

Eminent domain (United States, Philippines), land acquisition (India, Malaysia, Singapore), compulsory purchase (United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland), resumption (Hong Kong, Uganda), resumption/compulsory acquisition (Australia), or expropriation (France, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Chile, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Panama) is the power of a state, provincial, or national government to take private property for public use. However, this power can be legislatively delegated by the state to municipalities, government subdivisions, or even to private persons or corporations, when they are authorized by the legislature to exercise the functions of public character.In the Anglo-American historical context, property taken could be used only by the government taking the property in question. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain have been for roads, government buildings and public utilities. However, in the mid-20th century, a new application of eminent domain was pioneered, in which the government could take the property and transfer it to a private third party. This was initially done only to "blighted" property, on the principle that such properties had a negative impact upon surrounding property owners, but was later expanded to allow the taking of any private property when the new 3rd party owner could develop the property in such a way as to bring in increased tax revenues to the government.

Some jurisdictions require that the taker make an offer to purchase the subject property, before resorting to the use of eminent domain. However, once the property is taken and the judgment is final, the condemnor owns it in fee simple, and may put it to uses other than those specified in the eminent domain action.

Takings may be of the subject property in its entirety (total take) or in part (part take), either quantitatively or qualitatively (either partially in fee simple or, commonly, an easement, or any other interest less than the full fee simple title).

Expropriation of the Princes in the Weimar Republic

The Fürstenenteignung was the proposed expropriation of the dynastic properties of the former ruling houses of the German Empire during the period of the Weimar Republic. These princes had been deposed in the German Revolution of 1918–19. Dispute over the proposed expropriation began in the months of revolution and continued in the following years in the form of negotiations or litigation between individual royal houses and the states (Länder) of the German Reich. The climactic points of the conflict was a successful petition for a referendum in the first half of 1926, followed by the actual referendum for expropriation without compensation, which failed.

The petition was initiated by the German Communist Party (KPD), who were then joined, with some reluctance, by the Social Democrats (SPD). It was not only the KPD and SPD voters who supported expropriation without compensation. Many supporters of the Centre Party and the German Democratic Party (DDP) were also in favour. In some regions voters of conservative national parties also supported expropriation. Associations of the aristocracy, the churches of the two major denominations, large-scale farming and industrial interest groups as well as right-wing parties and associations supported the dynastic houses. Their calls for a boycott finally brought about the failure of the referendum. Expropriation without compensation was replaced by individual compensation agreements, which regulated the distribution of the estates among the states and the former ruling families.

Politicians and historians have differing interpretations of the events. While the official East German version of history stressed the actions of the Communist Party of the time, West German historians pointed to the substantial burdens that the referendum initiatives put on the cooperation between the SPD and the republican parties of the bourgeoisie. Attention is also drawn to the generational conflicts that emerged in this political dispute. The campaign for expropriation without compensation is also sometimes seen as a positive example of direct democracy.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee

The Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) was an activist group set up in New York City in April 1960. The FPCC's purpose was to provide grassroots support for the Cuban Revolution against attacks by the United States government, once Fidel Castro began openly admitting his commitment to Marxism and began the expropriation and nationalization of Cuban assets belonging to U.S. corporations. The FPCC opposed the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, the imposition of the United States embargo against Cuba, and was sympathetic to the Cuban view during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Subsidiary Fair Play for Cuba groups were set up throughout the United States and Canada. Among its twenty-nine early notable supporters were William Appleman Williams, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Jean-Paul Sartre, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Waldo Frank, Alan Sagner and Carleton Beals.The FPCC achieved notoriety through the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans. Oswald would later be known for assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

Vincent T. Lee shut down the national Fair Play for Cuba Committee in December 1963 when its landlord evicted the group from its national office; the notoriety accorded to it, following the Kennedy assassination, made it impossible for the committee to continue its work. The group continued to exist in Canada and still published several pamphlets until late 1964.

FPCC was organized by Robert Bruce Taber in 1960.

Greek Constitution of 1911

The Greek Constitution of 1911 was a major step forward in the constitutional history of Greece. Following the rise to power of Eleftherios Venizelos after the Goudi revolt in 1909, Venizelos set about attempting to reform the state. The main outcome of this was a major revision to the Greek Constitution of 1864.

The most noteworthy amendments to the Constitution of 1864 concerning the protection of human rights, were the more effective protection of personal security, equality in tax burdens, of the right to assemble and of the inviolability of the domicile. Furthermore, the Constitution facilitated expropriation to allocate property to landless farmers, while simultaneously judicially protecting property rights.

Other important changes included the institution of an Electoral Court for the settlement of election disputes stemming from the parliamentary elections, the addition of new conflicts for MPs, the re-establishment of the State Council as the highest administrative court (which, however, was constituted and operated only under the Constitution of 1927), the improvement of the protection of judicial independence and the establishment of the non-removability of public employees. Finally, for the first time, the Constitution provided for mandatory and free education for all, and declared Katharevousa (i.e. archaising "purified" Greek) as the "official language of the Nation".

Green paradox

The green paradox is the title of a controversial book by German economist, Hans-Werner Sinn, describing the observation that an environmental policy that becomes greener with the passage of time acts like an announced expropriation for the owners of fossil fuel resources, inducing them to accelerate resource extraction and hence to accelerate global warming.

House of Schwarzenberg

Schwarzenberg is a Czech (Bohemian) and German (Franconian) aristocratic family, and it was one of the most prominent European noble houses. The Schwarzenbergs are members of the Czech nobility and German nobility and achieved the rank of Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The family belongs to the high nobility and traces its roots to the Lords of Seinsheim during the Middle Ages.The current head of the family is Karel, the 12th Prince of Schwarzenberg, a Czech politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The family owns properties and lands across Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland.

La Nación (Chile)

La Nación is a Chilean newspaper created in 1917 by Eliodoro Yáñez and presided until 1927 by Carlos Dávila. It was a private company until 1927, when it was expropriated by president Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, and since then has remained a state property. Currently it is owned by Empresa Periodística La Nación S.A., which in turn is 69% owned by the State of Chile.

Is published by the SA La Nacion newspaper company that also publishes the Official Journal of the Republic of Chile. Company revenues come primarily from sales of the Official Journal and the printing division of the company, and currently the market share of the newspaper (except La Nación Domingo, the Sunday edition) is marginal, due to its low circulation.

Mexican oil expropriation

The Mexican oil expropriation (Spanish: expropiación petrolera) was the nationalization of all petroleum reserves, facilities, and foreign oil companies in Mexico on March 18, 1938. In accordance with Article 27 of the Constitution of 1917, President Lázaro Cárdenas declared that all mineral and oil reserves found within Mexico belong to "the nation", i.e., the federal government. The Mexican government established a state-owned petroleum company, Petróleos Mexicanos, or PEMEX. For a short, this measure caused an international boycott of Mexican products in the following years, especially by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, but with the outbreak of World War II and the alliance between Mexico and the Allied powers, the dispute with private companies over compensation were resolved. The anniversary, March 18, is now a Mexican civic holiday.


Petróleos Mexicanos, which translates to Mexican Petroleum, but is trademarked and better known as Pemex (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpemeks]), is the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, created in 1938 by nationalization or expropriation of all private, foreign, and domestic oil companies at that time. Pemex had total assets worth $415.75 billion, and was the world's second-largest non-publicly listed company by total market value (in December 2005), and Latin America's second-largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009, surpassed only by Petrobras (the Brazilian National Oil Company). The majority of its shares are not listed publicly and are under control of the Mexican government, with the value of its publicly listed shares totaling $202 billion in 2010, representing approximately one quarter of the company's total net worth.

Petroleum industry in Mexico

The petroleum industry in Mexico makes Mexico the eleventh largest producer of oil in the world and the thirteenth largest in terms of net exports. Mexico has the seventeenth largest oil reserves in the world, and it is the fourth largest oil producer in the Western Hemisphere behind the United States, Canada and Venezuela. Mexico is not a member of the OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) or any petroleum production related organizations, but since 1994 it is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The petroleum sector is crucial to the Mexican economy; while its oil production has fallen in recent years, oil revenues still generate over 10% of Mexico's export earnings. High taxes on the revenues of Pemex provide about a third of all the tax revenues collected by the Mexican government.


Repsol S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [repˈsol]) is an energy company based in Madrid, Spain. It carries out upstream and downstream activities throughout the entire world. It has more than 24,000 employees worldwide. It is vertically integrated and operates in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Ruiz-Mateos Group

The Party of Labor and Employment–Ruiz-Mateos Group (Spanish: Partido del Trabajo y Empleo–Agrupación Ruiz-Mateos), better known as Ruiz-Mateos Group (Spanish: Agrupación Ruiz-Mateos), was a Spanish political party founded by businessman José María Ruiz-Mateos following the expropriation of the Rumasa holding company. It was enrolled in the register of political parties with the Spanish Ministry of the Interior on August 30, 1989.

The leaders of the party were Ruiz-Mateos, Carlos Perrau of Pinninck (vice president) and Carmen Lovelle Alen (general secretary).

St. Giragos Armenian Church

The Church of St. Giragos (St. Cyriacus) is an Armenian Apostolic church in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Although out of use, it has recently been renovated in part as a sign of reconciliation with the Christian community. It was reopened on 23 October 2011 as "Turkey’s first church to be revived as a permanent place of worship" and also houses an Armenian museum – the first of its kind in Anatolia. It was heavily damaged during armed clashes between the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Turkish Armed Forces in February 2016, along with the rest of the historic Sur district of Diyarbakir.

It was seen as one of the largest and most important Armenian churches in the Middle East, with seven altars. It was closed during the Armenian Genocide in 1915–1916, and was returned to the local Armenian community in 1960, although due to emigration in the 1970s and 1980s the local Armenian community was much diminished. According to some art historians, the church is the largest in the Middle East. The complex sprawls over 3,200 square meters and includes priests' houses, chapels and a school. The church was seized by the Imperial German Army in 1913 and served as their local headquarters during World War I until 1918, when it was converted into a fabric warehouse.Ayık also said St. Giragos had several unique architectural features. "Churches normally have one altar but St. Giragos has seven altars. Its original roof was covered with the earth from around the region. We will do it again. The earth has been stripped of seeds to prevent the growth of plants. It should also be vented regularly, every year. The chairman, whose family is originally from the southeastern province, said the church was handed over to the foundation by the General Directorate of Foundations in the 1950s and continued providing church services until the early 1990s." After the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, it was used as a state warehouse for canvas and fabrics, and then, despite sporadic efforts by the dwindling Armenian community in Diyarbakır, it had been left to deteriorate and decay until 2009, when a few Armenians born in Diyarbakır but living in Istanbul, formed a Foundation Board under the auspices of the Armenian Istanbul Patriarchate, with the goal of reconstructing the church, as well as to start a legal process to reclaim title to the significant land holdings originally belonging to the church.

The church attracts hundreds of people per day; according to Gafur Turkay of the Surp Giragos Foundation, "Many of them are Islamised Armenians like me."On 26 March 2016 the Turkish government confiscated St. Giragos, under Article 27 of the Expropriation Law. Neighbouring Syriac, Chaldean and Protestant churches were also expropriated as part of the same decision, which comprised the expropriation of some 6,300 plots of land in Diyarbakir's Sur (walled town) district, about 80% of the property in that district. The Diyarbakir Bar Association released a statement saying "this decision violates the property right and is also against Turkish Constitutional Law, Expropriation Law, and European Convention on Human Rights".

The Expropriation

The Expropriation (Spanish: La expropiación) is a 1974 Chilean drama film directed by Raúl Ruiz.

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