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Burqa ban rejected by parliament

The Local · 11 Jul 2014, 21:44

Published: 11 Jul 2014 21:44 GMT+02:00

The proposed law from the far-right Freedom Party is based on the recent confirmation by the Strasborg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that a similar law in France is permissible under European human rights laws.

Only Team Stronach, a liberal and euro-skeptic party funded by a Canadian-Austrian auto-parts billionaire, supported the proposed bill.

Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) member Maria Fekter opposed the ban on the basis that women who wore the burqa tended to be wealthy visitors from Saudi Arabia, who might be discouraged from spending money while visiting the country.

FPÖ parliamentarian Carmen Gartelgruber described the wearing of veils as "a symbol of the oppression of women."  However Nurten Yilmaz (Social Democrats/SPÖ) questioned the feminist credentials of a party which opposed updating the national anthem to remove sexist language.

Story continues below…

Greens member Alev Koruns also rejected the FPÖ proposal, saying that it "fails to help a single woman", while NEOS MP Nikolaus Scherak said that the veil wasn't a problem in Austria, and a ban would make little sense.

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