• Spain edition
 
Catalonia to push ahead with burqa ban plans
Spain's Supreme Court in March 2013 annulled previous burqa bans introduced by a number of municipalities, including Lleida in western Catalonia. Photo: Jose Téllez/Flickr

Catalonia to push ahead with burqa ban plans

Published: 10 Jul 2014 14:06 GMT+02:00

The Catalan Government first announced its controversial plans to control the wearing of burqas and other face-covering attire in public spaces "for reasons of public safety" in 2013.

The move had nothing to do with religion and would also see the public wearing of garments including helmets and masks banned, Ramon Espadaler, Interior Minister for Catalonia, announced at the time.

On Thursday, Espadaler said the Catalan government would the begin of process of getting the bill approved in the regional parliament after the summer 2014 recess, Spain's Cuatro TV channel reported.

The recent EU ruling that France's ban on full-face veils like the burqa and the niqab in public was legal had opened up a "new perspective" on the proposed law in Catalonia, said the minister responding to a question in the Catalan parliament.

This meant the region could now leglisate against such face covering from a human rights perspective as well from a safety angle, Espadaler said.

The minister also pointed out the Catalan government wanted to legislate on the issue because previous attempts to do so by individual Catalan towns had been thwarted by Spain's courts.

Spain's Supreme Court in March 2013 annulled previous burqa bans introduced by a number of municipalities, including Lleida in western Catalonia, on the grounds that local authorities do not have the jurisdiction to regulate fundamental rights.

In that ruling, the court also said that the council in the mid-sized Catalan town had contravened the European Convention on Human Rights, originally signed back in 1950.

Burqas, which cover the face completely and incorporate a mesh screen to see through, are rarely seen in Catalonia. The niqab, another traditional Muslim garment, covers the face but leaves the eyes visible.

In Catalonia, as in the rest of Spain and most Western countries, both the niqab and the burqa are much less commonly worn than the hijab, a square headscarf which does not cover the face at all.

For more stories about Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
34% of Spain's workers on €645 minimum wage

34% of Spain's workers on €645 minimum wage

Just over a third of all Spanish employees earned the country's minimum wage of €9,034 ($11,200) in 2013, with almost all workers under 25 having to make do with that amount, official figures published on Thursday show. READ  

Environment
'Out-of-control tourism' hurting wild Ibiza
Posidonia oceanica, commonly known as Neptune Grass or Mediterranean tapeweed, covers only three percent of the Mediterranean basin. Photo: Boris Horvat / AFP

'Out-of-control tourism' hurting wild Ibiza

Rampant tourism is threatening the coastline of the Spanish holiday island of Ibiza while other major wilderness areas are also being seriously neglected by Spanish authorities, a new study shows. READ  

Actor killed after creepy 'Facebook warning'
Koldo Losada's face was familiar to Spaniards after appearances in hit TV series including Cuéntame and Águila Roja. Photo: AnaLopezAcotres/YouTube

Actor killed after creepy 'Facebook warning'

Police have arrested the long-term partner of Spanish TV star Koldo Losada after the actor's bloody body was found in their Bilbao flat along with corpse of their dog. READ  

Ebola outbreak
Ebola scare: Spanish aid worker repatriated
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (R) meets health workers on Monday in the village of Kouremale near the border with Guinea. Photo: Habibou Kouyate/AFP

Ebola scare: Spanish aid worker repatriated

Updated: a Spanish aid worker who may have contracted the Ebola virus has been admitted to Madrid's Carlos III hospital after being repatriated from Mali. READ  

Crimewatch
Breaking Bad-style speed chef arrested
Photo: Guardia Civil

Breaking Bad-style speed chef arrested

A 65-year-old pharmacy teacher has been arrested along with 14 people in raids against a gang that allegedly produced speed in Spain's Zamora and Salamanca provinces, in a case with similarities to the hit US television show Breaking Bad. READ  

Royal affairs
The Duchess of Alba: eight amazing facts
Did you know Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, the Duchess of Alba, here pictured in 2010, was a football fan? Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

The Duchess of Alba: eight amazing facts

She met movies stars like Marilyn Monroe, was married three times and widowed twice, and even took part in a bullfight. Read on to find out all about the amazing life of Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Spain's Duchess of Alba who died on Thursday aged 88. READ  

Illegal overtime 'costs Spain 273,000 jobs'

Illegal overtime 'costs Spain 273,000 jobs'

Spaniards are working over 10 million hours a week in illegal overtime a week, the equivalent of over 270,000 full-time jobs, says Spain's opposition Socialist party who are now hoping to change the situation. READ  

Sex-abuse scandal
'Paedophile priests' acted like sect: report

'Paedophile priests' acted like sect: report

The priests in Granada who are being investigated for sexual abuse after a letter sent to Pope Francis allegedly drew young boys into church activities before ruthlessly convincing them to engage in sexual activities, investigators have learned. READ  

Uber row
Catalan parliament wants Uber cars impounded
The proposed changes to the region's taxi laws would see the owners of Uber cars forced to pay €6,000 ($7,500) to recover their immobilized vehicles. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Catalan parliament wants Uber cars impounded

The Catalan parliament on Wednesday stepped up its war against the taxi app Uber by passing a motion calling for an urgent change to existing laws which would see Uber cars impounded, a move that comes in the middle of a PR crisis for the US firm. READ  

Spain's Duchess of Alba dies aged 88
Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Spain's Duchess of Alba dies aged 88

Spain's eccentric Duchess of Alba, the world's most titled noble and a nature treasure in her homeland, has died at the age of 88 in Seville. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Spain's Duchess of Alba dies aged 88
International
'World's longest railway' links Madrid and China
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
International
MPs call on Spain to recognize Palestine
International
VIDEO: Greenpeace activist injured in Canary Islands oil clash
Education
Spaniards are speaking better English than ever: study
Politics
The Dummies' Guide to Spain's new Podemos Party
Sponsored Article
Ever wanted to try out home exchange?
National
Ten Spanish dishes to try before you die
Property
Spain's golden visa scheme struggles to take off
National
80 percent of voters say 'yes' to independent Catalonia
Society
Ten things you should never say to a Spaniard
National
Boardgame cashes in on Spain's corruption crisis
Society
Real's Ronaldo world's second richest athlete
National
Priests slam Spain's jacuzzi-loving 'archbishop of bling'
National
Ten shocking corruption cases hurting Spain
National
Seville: Erasmus student dies in selfie fall
Travel
Top ten: brilliant Barcelona restaurants
Society
Dad told to pay child support to 29-year-old daughter
Politics
'We're sorry': Spanish PM apologizes over corruption scandals
Tech
Meet Mr Biceps: Spanish policeman heats up Instagram
National
37 arrested as massive anti-corruption raids rattle Spain
National
Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
Health
Drug mule 'left to die' in airport over Ebola fears
National
Viral photo shows two worlds collide at Spain's African border
What's On
What's on in Spain: November 2014
National
Top Ten: the very best new Spanish words
National
Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands
Health
Cured: Spanish nurse with Ebola beats virus
International
Mango apologizes for 'Nazi blouse'
National
Where's the best place to live in Spain?
Travel
Top ten: great autumn getaways in Spain
National
The great Spanish cities quiz: take it now
National
Revealed: the cost of expat food in Spain
Politics
Catalan leader calls independence vote 'lite'
What's On
Games of Thrones star 'barred' from Seville film set
Education
Only one Spanish university makes world's top 200
Politics
Spanish court suspends Catalan independence vote
National
Catalonia defies Madrid and calls independence vote
National
Spanish village swaps bulls for giant balls
Society
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
National
'This is a great time for entrepreneurs in Spain'
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,573
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description