• 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
Updated: 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Woman fakes kidnapping to stage musical show
The woman confessed the kidnapping was a set-up and that she wanted the money to start her singing career Photo of a woman with her hands tied: Shutterstock

Woman fakes kidnapping to stage musical show

A Barcelona woman has been arrested after allegedly faking her own kidnapping in the Dominican Republic to raise money for a musical production. READ  

Barcelona locals wage war on drunken tourists
Up to 100 locals rushed down from their homes and joined in with the shouting, cutting off traffic as well as harassing tourists and holiday apartment letting agents. Screen Grab: YouTube/Fernando Rod

Barcelona locals wage war on drunken tourists

Locals in a central Barcelona neighbourhood have grown so tired of the unruly behaviour of drunken tourists staying in illegal accommodation on their streets that they staged an improvised protest on Tuesday. READ  

Football focus
Di María wants out of Real Madrid: Ancelotti
Several top clubs including Premier League giants Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Argentina's Ángel di Maria. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

Di María wants out of Real Madrid: Ancelotti

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that midfielder Ángel di María has asked to leave the European champions before the end of the transfer window. READ  

Spain's building sector fastest growing in EU

Spain's building sector fastest growing in EU

Spain's building sector grow 7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 making it the top performer in the European Union, welcome news for the sector that was left battered and bruised by Spain's economic crisis. READ  

Madrid: man dies in horror balcony collapse
The Madrid neighbourhood of Argüelles where the balcony collapsed. File photo: Roberto García Fadón

Madrid: man dies in horror balcony collapse

A man died on Thursday after part of a balcony above the terrace of the Madrid bar where he was drinking with a friend collapsed. READ  

Immigration crisis
Photojournalists fined at Spain's African border
Spanish police look on as two Moroccan policemen hit would-be immigrants with sticks at the border of Spain's North African enclave of Melilla on August 14th. Photo: José Colón/AFP

Photojournalists fined at Spain's African border

A journalist who was fined €150 ($200) by Spanish police on Monday for taking photos of African migrants trying to scale a fence separating Morocco from Spain's North African enclave of Melilla has told The Local he won't pay. READ  

'Stop drilling plans or we'll cut ties with Spain'
A mock simulation of an oil spill by Greenpeace members on Playa de las Teresitas in the north of Tenerife. Photo: Desiree Martín/AFP

'Stop drilling plans or we'll cut ties with Spain'

The President of the Canary Islands is threatening to break off diplomatic ties with Spain's central government while asking islanders to take part in an "illegal" referendum over the islands' controversial oil and gas drilling plans, green-lighted by Prime Minister Rajoy. READ  

VIDEO: Man goes 'Full Monty' on Spanish tram
"Thanks very much, you're on Candid Camera," announced Cristian Galera after stripping on board a tram in Alicante. Screen grab: RandomLife/YouTube

VIDEO: Man goes 'Full Monty' on Spanish tram

Passengers on a tram in the Spanish city of Alicante got more than they bargained for recently when one man got on board, stripped to his underwear and began to slow dance. READ  

'Insulting' anti-rape guidelines to be updated

'Insulting' anti-rape guidelines to be updated

Spain's interior ministry has vowed to revise its anti-rape guidelines after current advice which includes telling woman not to get into a lift with a stranger came under heavy fire recently. READ  

Brit seriously injured in Magaluf building fall
The young man suffered multiple injuries and was rushed to the Majorca's Son Espases hospital in a serious condition. File photo: Effervescing Elephant/Flickr

Brit seriously injured in Magaluf building fall

A young British man suffered serious injuries in the Majorcan party town of Magaluf on Wednesday morning when he fell four stories while attempting to climb from one room to another along the outside of an apartment building. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Top ten: Spain's best natural swimming pools
Property
'Dying' town flogs off land for €200 to woo new blood
National
Gays to blame for Spain's trillion euro debt: senator
Society
Spain's anti-rape guidelines: 1) Close your curtains
International
Merkel to walk (part of) Spain's Camino de Santiago
National
Woman on Madrid plane had 1.7kg coke in breasts
Health
'Spain's hospitals aren't ready for Ebola'
Travel
Twelve things tourists do that annoy Spaniards
National
Swiss sex tourists slapped with seatbelt fine
Features
Top ten 'English' words made in Spain: Part 2
International
'I hate the black man in the White House'
Travel
Top 10: Spanish tourist traps you should avoid
National
127 kg of cocaine found on navy training ship
National
Spain's 14-year-old jihadist girl locked up
International
Fox News names Penelope Cruz 'idiot of the week'
International
Spain pulls plug on weapons sales to Israel
Tech
Made in Spain: the ice cream that changes colour while you eat
National
Pic of the day: Spain dazzles in Nasa photo
Politics
A to Z of Spanish politics: a handy guide
International
Orlando Bloom 'punches' Justin Bieber in Ibiza
What's On
What's on in Spain: August
National
Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
Property
Spanish house prices to start climbing in 2016: S&P
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

1,628
jobs available