Austria's parliament approved the ban in May despite protests from Muslim groups and opposition from lawyers and the country's own president. Critics have characterised the legislation as a knee-jerk reaction to stem rising support for the populist Freedom Party of Austria. Breach of new integration law will be punished with €150 fine Other new policy goals they have agreed include expanding Austria’s CCTV network and a compulsory “integration year” for asylum seekers, during which they would have to commit themselves to learning German and working for a charitable organisation.

Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? While the government’s working paper also said civil servants in executive positions, such as judges and state prosecutors, should be forced to wear “religiously neutral” clothing, the Austrian justice ministry has distanced itself from the proposals, stating that guidelines already prescribe specific clothing in court. "Please be aware that in any case you must uncover your face on the spot when asked to," said flyers distributed by the Austrian interior ministry. Campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the U.K. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers in Europe. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Austria's ruling coalition has restricted the use of full-face veils in public spaces including courts and schools. However, most of them were protesters dressed as clowns, in animal costumes or wearing scarves, according to the Austrian Profil magazine. Mr Kurz, who is the conservative front-runner for next month's national election with his People's Party, said: "Whoever wears niqab or burqa in Austria has to deal with the consequence.". Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Austria is the latest European country to implement such a ban.

Police will issue on-the-spot fines to residents and visitors to the country whose faces are "hidden or concealed by clothes or other objects in such a way that they are no longer recognisable", authorities warned. “Work is one of the most important factors for successful integration, which is why we are not only breaking down language barriers with [this policy] - we are also creating a continuous integration concept for the first time,” said Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) politician Alois Stöger. France was the first European country to ban the burqa in public in 2010, followed by similar legislation in Belgium and Bulgaria. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. The grand coalition of the centrist SPÖ and conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) has agreed to dissolve and hold early elections in October, while the head of the opposition Greens party has resigned her post amid infighting. Tags: Burqa Ban Austria burqa. But she thinks discussions about the headscarf ban are just "propaganda" — there really are more important issues to worry about, she says. Muna Duzdar, the State Secretary, hailed an “important milestone for Austrian integration” policy, saying it would improve refugees’ opportunities.

And for those critical of the country's political swing to the right, it has provided the ideal argument to point out what happens when populism triumphs over reason. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. But it never bothered me." In Austria, people who break the new law could be fined up to 150 euros (USD 168), according to the legislation approved by parliament in May and signed into law by the president this week.

Government says move is part of policies improving integration, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's new coalition between the center-right Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) — which took office after the ban — has run with the issue. November 17-18 — POLITICO's Health Care Summit, November 18 — Energy Visions Series – Carbon removal and natural sinks in reaching climate neutrality by 2050, November 19 — Making digital work for SMEs in Europe. Six months into Austria’s ‘Anti-Face-Veiling Act,’ aimed at removing burqas and facial veils from public spaces, has proved to be what some might call an epic fail. After their victory last October, Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the FPÖ loudly proclaimed that "Islamization must be stopped" — and now the government wants to deliver. The UK does not ban the niqab or burqa.

Prohibiting ‘anti-social symbols’ such as the veil will boost integration efforts, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said. Over the summer, local police issued some 200 fines to women violating the law. A spokesperson emphasised the ban would apply for tourist destinations such as the Zell am See ski resort as well as the urban centre of Vienna.

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