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2.8 Rights of ownership, their protection and their enforceability

According to the estimations of the Bureau of Statistics of SR, the share of the public sector in the GDP production reached 90.6 % in 2005 (0.5 percentage point more than in 2004). Practically completely in private hands is the trade (99.8 %), the building industry (99.7 %) and the agriculture (exactly 99 %). It is different in industry – the share of the private sector in the GDP production holds barely 86%. It reaches only up to 63.6% in the transportation and less than 47 % in the forestry. The Bureau of Statistics of SR records in the register of the organizations belonging to the business sector more than seven hundred subjects with the prevailing ownership of the state or the municipalities. These subjects employ around 180 thousands people (even the health care is included into the business sector since 2005, excluded are the schools and the subjects functioning in other services mostly financed from the public sources)*.

Respected and unlimited private property and owners’ right to deal freely with their property are the bases for a healthy business environment and a successful working of the market economy. They have been a main source of wealth and (economic) individual liberty as well as of the whole society in the past.

The constitutional framework in the Slovak Republic for the state authority intervention into the private sector is defined in article 20 paragraph 4 of the Constitution, which allows expropriation or compulsory restriction of the proprietary right when meeting the following conditions: (1) only in inevitable extent, (2) in public interest, (3) under the rule of the law and (4) for reasonable compensation. The expropriation is defined similarly but not in the same way even in the Declaration of Basic Rights2. According to it, the expropriation or the compulsory restriction of the proprietary right is possible only in public interest and under the rule of the law and for the compensation.

The state secures the protection of the proprietary right of physical and legal entities even with instruments stated in the norms of the criminal law. The Penal Code provides protection of all forms of ownership. The new criminal codex came into effect on January 1 2006. According to the lawgiver, the changes stated in them should contribute to a more efficient and faster protection of the rights and legitimate interests of physical and legal entities as well as of the interests of the whole society.

The regulation of the criminal responsibility for unpaid wages and compensation for repudiation according to §214 of the Criminal law can be considered very important. This enables to give sanctions to an enterpriser who will not pay a wage to the employee or other compensation for work, refund of wages or compensation for repudiation. An employee is entitled to these payments on a due date, although the enterpriser had finances for the wages on this day, he/she did not inevitably need them to secure the activity of a legal entity or the activity of an employer who is a physical entity or takes steps to the stultification of settling these finances. This enables to give the sanction of imprisonment up to 3 years.


*Article 11, paragraph 4 (constitutional act no. 23/1991 Coll.)
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