Expropriation

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The concept of expropriation refers to the acquisition by a public organization, which is the State in most cases, of an asset previously considered private property.

Often the public Administration resorts to acts of expropriation by means of which it acquires certain lands, real estate, mercantile companies, natural resources, exploitation rights over property or other types for very diverse reasons.

In this way, the State becomes the owner of the same, taking at the same time the rights derived from this property. Among them I would highlight the right of economic exploitation.

Said exploitation of expropriated assets can be carried out both by the State and by third parties. This is understood, for example, in the case of previously private companies that continue with their activity when expropriated, but now under state control and, therefore, with a public nature.

Characteristics of the concept of expropriation

There are a series of characteristics that define expropriation within the economic sphere:

  • It is a coercive phenomenon: in other words, the expropriated individual does not voluntarily offer his property, but it is the State who unilaterally claims it.
  • The individual or group that suffers the expropriation of the property may receive a certain consideration. This is usually in the form of compensation.
  • For this reason, expropriation supposes compensation in a certain way for the person who suffers it, contrary to what happens in cases of public embargoes, for example.
  • An expropriation can be carried out following economic, political or social interest reasons.
  • It must be included in the legal framework of the country, so that possible abuses of power by the rulers can be avoided. The latter happens in cases of political expropriations for ideological reasons, common in dictatorial states.

Common examples of expropriation

Commonly the most likely to be expropriated in the current economic reality are real estate, as well as extensions of land, within public works operations.

This happens due to the need for the Administration to obtain ownership of them within public plans for the construction of roads, highways and other infrastructures.

Another example is the development of hydrological plans, through which the supply and control of water in its territory is organized, sometimes by diverting the riverbed through extensions of land previously private property.

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