Making her pitch for a fourth term, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a ‘burqa’ ban in the country, saying the refugee crisis “must never be repeated”.
“The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country. It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible,” she said while addressing her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, reports the Independent.
Dutch MPs voted for a similar prohibition in the Netherlands last month, covering public transport, education, healthcare and government buildings and punishing any infractions with fines.
Support for bans on full-face veils has been growing across Europe since France became the first country to implement such a law in 2011, followed by countries including Belgium, Bulgaria and parts of Switzerland.
Merkel is running unopposed for a new term leading the CDU to launch her bid for a fourth term as German Chancellor.
Two years ago, she won the support of 96.7 % of party delegates, one of her best results. But, her popularity has been dented by growing anti-migrant sentiment in the country following the arrival of around one million asylum seekers in the continuing refugee crisis.
Merkel has also been widely criticised for her decision to open the borders in September 2015, with opponents blaming the policy for mass sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and two terror attacks by Islamic State supporters.