Merkel's conservative party considers burqa ban

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) said Monday they were considering a proposal to ban the wearing of the burqa.

"The CDU agrees that the full-face veil is contrary to integration," party general secretary Peter Tauber said. "We therefore reject it."

State CDU interior ministers are due to meet later this week to draw up proposals for banning the wearing of the burqa in public, along the lines of action taken by France and Belgium.

Several local authorities across Europe have also introduced bans.

However, Merkel's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has rejected a general ban.

Tauber was speaking following a meeting of the CDU's national executive, the first since Merkel returned Monday from her annual summer holidays in Germany and Italy.

Since she left for her vacation three weeks ago, public fears have grown that potential terrorists could be among the large numbers of refugees who have entered Germany over the last year.

The concerns follow two attacks last month in the southern German towns of Ansbach and Wuerzburg that have been linked to the Islamic State extremist group.

The attacks prompted de Maiziere to unveil a package of new security measures.

But with two key state elections due to be held next month, the state CDU interior ministers have set out their own tough proposals aimed at ensuring public safety.

In addition to a burqa ban, the CDU ministers have joined Bavaria's hardline Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann and called for ending dual citizenship in the country, arguing it could help to contain the terrorist threat.

However, Tauber said the CDU's national executive had rejected any moves to change the current rules for dual citizenship, which is only available in a limited number of cases.

Last update: Mon, 15/08/2016 - 16:56

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