German leader Merkel: full veils an obstacle to integration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described full-body veils used by some Muslim women that cover the face as an obstacle to integration.

Some members of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, notably the interior ministers of two states holding regional elections next month, recently have urged a ban on the burqa and other full-body veils. Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere opposes an overall ban, which he says would probably be thrown out by Germany's supreme court.

Merkel weighed in on the issue in comments to the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland newspaper group published Thursday. She was quoted as saying: "From my point of view, a fully veiled woman in Germany has barely any chance of integrating."

Merkel said de Maiziere has her "full support" in examining "what precise legal possibilities to act exist."