Austrian gov't agrees on full-face veil ban in public places
VIENNA – Austria's governing coalition has agreed to prohibit full-face veils in courts, schools and other "public places" as part of a package of reforms drawn up after more than a week of negotiations.
The coalition of Social Democrats and the centrist People's party also agreed Monday to ban police officers, judges and magistrates and public prosecutors from wearing head scarves in the interest of appearing "ideologically and religiously neutral" while serving the state.
The French parliament passed an act more than six years ago that made France the first European Union country to ban the niqab and burqa, the full-face or face-and-body coverings worn by some Muslim women, in public places. Others have followed.