Austria moves to ban full-face veil in public spaces

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Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS - CCIS) member Nora Illi, one of the few Swiss women wearing the niqab, distributes flyers against a cantonal vote on banning face-covering headgear in public places, on September 18, 2013 in Lugano. Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region was on course on September 22, 2013 to ban the full-face Islamic veil, projected results from a referendum showed. The Swiss Italian-language broadcaster RSI said a partial count of votes in the canton (state) of Ticino showed that 65 percent of the electorate backed the measure to ban the covering of faces in public areas by any group, including Muslims. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

VIENNA, Feb 1: Government coalition announces a wide-range of proposals, which include restriction of foreign workers’ access to jobs market.

Austria’s coalition government unveils plans to ban full-face veils in public and restrict eastern European workers’ access to the country’s labor market.

These proposals were announced late on Monday as part of a wider government programme targeted at countering the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam Freedom Party.

“The full-face veil will be banned in public spaces,” said Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern after the new programme of policies set to be implemented over the next 18 months were signed by the ministers.

The 35-page programme also includes tightening up security and surveillance measures, obliging migrants granted the right to stay to sign an “integration contract” and a “statement of values”.

The text also adds that “Those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society,” also promising that the government will lower taxes and non-wage labor costs, restrict access of foreign workers to the Austrian labor market and create 70,000 new jobs.

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