• 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
Real Madrid come home to ecstatic crowds in capital
"How can I not love you!," shouted the ecstatic crowd at the Plaza de Cibeles. Photo: AFP

Thousands of Real Madrid fans chanted and waved supporter scarves under a rain of confetti on Sunday in the Spanish capital as the team returned home after an historic 11th European Cup win.

Real Madrid 'win lottery' to land Champions League title
Ronaldo posing with the trophy on Saturday night. Photo: AFP

Real Madrid striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, said penalties are just a game of chance after scoring the winning spot-kick to give Real Madrid an 11th Champions League crown on Saturday.

Spaniards hold 'march of dignity' ahead of new polls
The march was the latest in a series of protests which began on March 22 and has gathered support from around the country. Photo: AFP

A month ahead of a general election, thousands of disgruntled Spaniards attended a "march of dignity" Saturday demanding "bread, work and shelter" and an end to "neo-liberal policies imposed by Brussels".

Spain arrests seven over stolen Bacon paintings
Francis Bacon's 'Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror' is auctioned in New York City in 2012. Photo: AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had arrested seven people suspected of involvement in the theft of five paintings worth €25 million ($27.8 million) by renowned British artist Francis Bacon.

Colombia rebels free Spanish journalist
Salud Hernandez-Mora talking to journalists after her release. Photo: AFP

The Colombian rebel group ELN freed a prominent Spanish-Colombian journalist and two local TV reporters Friday after holding them for nearly a week.

Recipe: How to make Spain's summer classic gazpacho
Gazpacho is the perfect lunchtime refresher in the summer heat. Photo: Harlan Harris / Flickr

Chilled, refreshing, and delicious, a bowl of gazpacho is a must during Spain's sizzling summer months.

Model found guilty of murder of Brit millionaire ex-boyfriend
Mayka Kukucova with British businessman Andrew Bush. Photo: Facebook

A Slovakian swimwear model has been found guilty for murdering her British millionaire ex-boyfriend at a court in Malaga.

Spanish bishop demands staff get 'anti-paedo certificate'
Stock photo of priests: AFP

The Bishop of Lleida has requested all staff, including priests and monks, prove they are not paedophiles.

Beach hogger fined in Spain for saving spot with umbrella
Tourists at a Spanish beach. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP.

Attempting to 'reserve' a spot on the beach of one Costa Blanca resort is being treated very harshly indeed.

Superfast undersea mega-cable to link US and Spain
It will be 16 million times faster than a domestic broadband connection. Photo: Oleg Zaytsev / Flickr

Your internet access is about to get a whole lot faster.

National
Stunning cave paintings found 300 metres below Spain
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Travel
Five good reasons why Extremadura should be on your bucket list
Lifestyle
Top Ten: Barcelona's coolest rooftop bars
National
Plane forced to dodge THREE drones to land in Bilbao
National
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
Culture
Ten unique Basque words you need to learn right now
National
'It’s time to dig up Franco' say victims of Spain's dictatorship
Lifestyle
'Severe jellyfish stings' end Brit's Spanish swim feat
Sport
5 reasons why Spanish clubs dominate European football
International
Tesco to bring British tea and biscuits to Spanish stores
Culture
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
National
Spain's Civil War victims to be exhumed from Franco's tomb
National
Two mums face jail for leaving kids in car to go out drinking
Education
Students at Spanish college forced to take exorcism class
National
Ten superb reasons why you need to visit San Sebastián
Society
Abused wife saved by hiding SOS note in son's homework
National
Look up! Rare meteor shower set to dazzle skies over Spain
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Travel
Ibiza bans drinking in street… and that includes water
National
Expats didn't 'abandon' UK so ALL Brits should get EU vote
Features
What's on in Spain: May 2016
Travel
Discover Spain's breathtaking national parks
National
Couple caught on camera having sex on metro platform
3,383
jobs available