In every political system based on a market economy, the concept of property, and especially the legal institution of private property, plays a determining role. However, privatisation, increasing concentration, unequal distribution and internationalisation of property have created economic, political and social problems, which so far have defied solution. The creation of a ‘New Social Europe’ and the recent inclusion of no less than ten Eastern European states make the property question even more urgent. Financial participation (in the form of employee ownership as well as profit-sharing) based on an appropriate legal framework addresses these problems at their source. Instead of eliminating private property and thereby destroying the market economy, wage-dependent employees can be enabled to acquire productive property as shareholders in successful business corporations.
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