Balearics social-communist government expropriates 56 privately-owned houses for ‘social use’

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 3. 2021

Article copyrighted © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - abogado
3rd of March 2021


Here we go again.

I wasn’t planning to publish my next blog post until the 11th of March, but given the gravity of the news, I am forced to pull it ahead of time.

The Balearics regional social-communist government decided yesterday to expropriate 56 privately-owned properties for ‘social use.’ You can read the amazing press clip here. You can find a list of all confiscated properties here.

This is an unprecendeted historic event which had never taken place before during Spain's young 44-year-old Democracy. We need to go all the way back to the 1930's, to the expropriations instigated by the II Spanish Republic (also run by communists), to witness this. Events like this one, and many others, would eventually lead to the downfall of the Second Republic which would be overthrown by the forces of General Franco in a coup, unleashing the Spanish Civil War and leading us to a dictatorship that lasted 36 years, until Franco's death in 1975.

The good part of this terrible news is that:

  1. These properties belong to large stakeholders such as lenders and real estate funds.
  2. The properties hadn’t been used over the last two years.
  3. The Balearic government will pay €1.8mn as compensation to the rightful owners.
  4. They have only expropriated the use, not the ownership, over the next 7 years.
  5. The properties will be destined to social housing.
  6. The Balearics government will self-decide (read impose) the monthly rental.

In light of the above six points, you'd think it’s not such a big deal after all, right? Wrong!

The 1.8mn euros is less than half of what they'd get renting out the properties themselves, even at today's depressed market values.

You are likely thinking these properties belong to fat cats, so stuff them. The problem with this line of thinking is where do you draw the line? Fat cats or not, property rights must be upheld for everyone by everyone. Otherwise, who is to say the day after tomorrow who will be next in the pecking order, maybe you?

In the 1930’s Nazi Germany it all started fairly innocently at first; one day the then democratically-elected Nazi Government (let us not forget Hitler rose to power on the back of winning the elections, democratically) decided that one could no longer deduct medical invoices from Jewish dentists on the Social Security. No biggie, right? You could always find another dentist who wasn’t a Jew, who cares, right? We all know how that story ended up. Well, it turns out I care and so should you, and a lot. If we don’t learn from the lessons of our past, we are truly lost, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes all over again.

When governments, even democratically-elected ones, start to curtail citizen’s rights, such as private ownership, and erode our freedoms enshrined in the Spanish Constitution, it sets out a very dangerous precedent. Because, again, where do you draw the line? Is expropriating properties from affluent individuals also acceptable? What makes one affluent anyway? Having more then one million euros net, half a million? See where I am getting at? Yesterday was fat cats, today is affluent people but tomorrow it could be you. Such reckless and dangerous decisions taken by irresponsible politicians open Pandora’s box.

Well, you may think, surely the Spanish Central Government (Madrid) will step to rein in this unruly behaviour in the nation's best interests! Well, it won’t. And the reason is because Spain’s government is also led by a social-communist coalition. In fact, the same one as in the Balearics, so expect Madrid to do nothing about it, nada.

I really don’t want to drag on and on about the negative consequences this bad news has for everyone because to my mind the consequences are only blatant:

  1. It creates massive legal insecurity. This action is clearly unconstitutional.
  2. It tarnishes Spain's reputation as a country with a stable legal framework in which you can safely invest in.
  3. When the foreign press catches wind of this, it will deter foreign investments in Spain to no end. Exactly what we needed in the midst of a II Great Depression with over 6mn Spaniards unemployed (the Spanish Communist Government officially only recognizes 4mn unemployed).
  4. The Balearics government are looking to artificially impose rental prices at the expense of private owners to further their political agenda.
  5. Stupidly, on doing this, other landlords will grow fearful of this aggressive market interventionism and withdraw their properties from the market altogether.
  6. This in turn will create a shortage of available properties which, following the law of demand and supply, will push rental prices higher at a time when they were in fact nose-diving with the crisis as we’ve reported repeatedly. This reckless regional government planning leads to nasty market price distortions.

You really couldn't make it up, Good Lord.

Seriously, how more dafter and incompetent can our politicians be in this country? Somehow, they always manage to pull it off finding a new low. Is it a requirement to have an IQ of 60 and have never worked in your life to be a successful politician in Spain? Honest to God, these people drive me nuts.

Whatever will be next? Bank deposits confiscated for the so-called 'social good'? A very dangerous and reckless move that sets in motion an even more dangerous precedent straight out of the playbook from Maduro’s Venezuela ("exprópiese"). Venezuela, that 'lovely' political model that ensures wealth and prosperity for all its citizens *cough*. Venezuela happens to be a role model for our Madrid communist government who trip over themselves to flatter the regime (read dictatorship) and often quotes it as "an example to follow". Yeah, right.

As night follows day, you can bet your bottom dollar these property owners, who’ve been illegitimately confiscated out of their properties, are now putting the matter in the hands of competent lawyers who will appeal the Balearics daft law of 2018 and yesterday’s 56 expropriations. And you can also bet they will win, eventually.

If the powers that be do not act decisively, eradicating the disease from the root, it will spread like wildfire to other parts of Spain; particularly to those regions with a strong political affinity. Pedro Sanchez needs to grow a backbone and start taking harsh decisions, otherwise the disease will metastasize and infect the whole country. What we need to understand is that these ideologic zealots are always in constant competition to outdo one another proving who is more communist. Communism is cancer, a disease that has killed hundreds of millions of human beings the world over and has driven into poverty hundreds of millions more. It has killed far more people than what Nazis and Covid-19 combined ever did. If no action is taken, we will witness how hundreds of other empty properties are expropriated all over Spain for 'the greater good'. And this in turn will exacerbate Spain's political instability furthermore. Spain sorely needs a leader that heals and unifies the country, reconciling both sides, not someone who constantly sows dissension and stokes the flames of political division, polarizing the country, for his own selfish political gain. We already saw in 1936 what lies down that rabbit hole, thank you very much.

I've still to meet anyone whose life Communism has improved aside from its 'beloved' leaders, granted. I've never known of a communist leader who wasn't a multimillionaire, and you?

“Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte.”


Loosely translated as: “First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me. And there was no one left to speak out for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). Was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany. He emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He is perhaps best remembered for his above postwar words. Wise words we should heed.



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