BONN, JUNE 15 -- The two Germanys agreed today to return property seized in East Germany by the Communist government or pay the former owners compensation, West German officials announced.
Also today, West Germany's unification committee, composed of representatives of all parties in the parliament, agreed on a treaty paving the way for economic unity July 2.
Parliamentary ratification of the plan was expected next week.
The property agreement was the result of weeks of negotiations between the German governments. It was outlined in a statement read at a news conference by Rudolf Seiters, chief of staff for West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
The accord, however, does not apply to property confiscated during the 1945-1949 Soviet postwar administration of the territory that later became East Germany, Seiters said.
Since the two countries began moving toward union, former owners of property in the East who fled to the West have been returning to stake claims on property they contended was still theirs.
The statement said the rights of renters living in disputed apartments or on disputed property would be protected.
For East Germans who bought appropriated land or own buildings on confiscated property, a "socially acceptable compensation" was to be worked out through exchange of property or other compensation.