• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Catalonia to push ahead with burqa ban plans

George Mills · 10 Jul 2014, 14:06

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 news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Family warns of painkiller risk after Irishman dies on holiday
Billy Smyth died after taking the painkiller Nolotil. File photo: AFP

Relatives of an Irishman who died after being prescribed a common painkiller in Spain have spoken out to warn other holidaymakers of the danger.

Police bust gang selling fake holiday rentals in Barcelona
The gang put fake adverts for holiday apartments on different websites. Photo: Ajay Suresh/Flickr

Spanish police have busted a gang who have been advertising fake holiday apartments in Barcelona.

7 reasons why grandparents in Spain are simply the best
Photo: 3dom/Flickr

As Spain celebrates Grandparents' Day, The Local takes a look at what makes Spanish abuelos so special...

Bull pops into high street bank during Spanish fiesta
The bull emerged from the Bankia branch in Cheste. Screenshot from Youtube.

A bull made an unusual stop off during the annual bull run at a festival in Cheste, in the eastern region of Valencia.

Air Europa cancels 114 flights during four-day pilot strike
Photo: AFP

The Spanish airline has cancelled 38 internal and 76 international flights between July 30th to August 2nd as pilots strike during the busy start of the summer holidays.

Drones hunt down 1.7 million tax cheats in Spain
Photo: Don McCullough/Flickr

The Spanish government has used drones to discover more than 1.69 million homes are not paying sufficient taxes.

Couple find snake in their bed in northern Spain
The snake was found under the pillow. Photo: Diputación de Zaragoza

The serpent was inches away from their baby, whose cries alerted the couple to their unwelcome visitor...

The Local list
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
Spain is just waiting to be explored. Photo: Rvdo. Kaskajales / Flickr

The Local brings you the ultimate Spanish bucket list.

First baby in Europe with Zika defects born in Spain
The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP

A baby has been born in Spain with Zika-caused microcephaly, the first to be born in Europe with the condition.

Suspend EU funds for Spain says European Commission
European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen. Photo: AFP

The EU should suspend structural funds to Spain and Portugal after they failed to rein in their debt, according to a letter from the European Commission seen by AFP.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Barcelona bans Segways from tourist clogged waterfront
National
Police issue guidelines as Pokémon craze sweeps Spain
National
Another dodgy art restoration raises alarm in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Watch: Man in wheelchair zooms past Barcelona traffic
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Woof! How to find dog-friendly beaches in Spain
Travel
Tourist sparks bomb scare by locking suitcase to park bench
Technology
Five brilliant apps to help improve your Spanish
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
Off the beaten track: 14 best kept travel secrets in Spain
International
Keep calm and wait and see: Advice for expats post-Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
National
'I've had best time ever' insists American gored in bull run
Health
How to avoid heatstroke when Spain starts to sizzle
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
International
Champion of expat property rights in Spain awarded gong
National
Scorchio! Heat warnings issued across Spain
National
Brits demand dual citizenship for expats in Spain post Brexit
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Sport
Spanish matador gored to death in the ring
Lifestyle
Eleven types of men you might typically date in Spain
National
Spanish police rescue British teen trapped by dad in house for two years
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Seven burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
Six important things we learnt from Spain's repeat elections
Politics
Rajoy claims right to form government after poll win
3,294
jobs available