German minister pushes for partial face veil ban

German minister pushes for partial face veil ban

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Security officials from German chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc are proposing a ban on wearing the burka and other face-covering veils in schools, courts, while driving and in other situations.

Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters after meetings with his state counterparts from the conservative Union bloc that full-face coverings are “not part of our open society” and that officials “urge everyone to show their faces”.

Mr De Maiziere acknowledged constitutional problems with a blanket burka ban and said the proposal seeks only to prohibit face coverings “where showing the face has a function”.

He pointed out that Germany already bans the wearing of any kind of face covering at demonstrations, such as masks, meant to hide protesters’ identities.

The proposal still faces several legislative hurdles.

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