If you thought Kelo was scary …

20 Jul

I'm not like so Libertarian that I think that property rights are untouchable, but the BBC has a story that is just scary:

Imagine yourself sitting at home, unable to move because you are nursing a broken leg. Suddenly you hear a roar outside… and realise a bulldozer is attacking your front porch.

This is what happened to Alexei Syomov, who thought he owned his home in Gavrikovo, just outside Moscow.

Speaking in front of the huge apartment block that now stands on the site of his wooden house, he says: "They took all of my furniture out. Then they began destroying the house. After a couple of minutes the place where it stood was flat."

By "they", he refers to bureaucrats who, he claims, stood to profit from developing the valuable land his house was standing on.

This is a side of the Moscow property market virtually unknown to the West.

Multi-billion-dollar housing scams have become big business in Russia.

And despite President Vladimir Putin's promise to institute a dictatorship of the rule of law, these scams are all too often shrugged off by the authorities.

Seriously scary.

Link: BBC NEWS | Programmes | This World | Moscow's property lawlessness

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