German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on full-face veils “wherever legally possible” when she made her pitch to be nominated for a fourth term Tuesday.
Several of Merkel’s party colleagues in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have recently backed a ban on the burqa. Merkel said she would support a nationwide ban as she addressed the annual CDU convention.
“The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country,” Merkel told delegates. “It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible.”
A future ban would be enforced in “places where it is necessary for our society’s coexistence,” including government buildings, schools and courtrooms. Other European countries such as France, Switzerland and the Netherlands have passed similar laws in recent years.
Merkel began her speech by defending her open-door refugee policy, which has brought around a million migrants to the country since last summer. She stressed that deportations have to be enforced, and that a significant portion of arrivals won’t be allowed to stay.
“Not all of the 900,000 refugees who arrived last year will be able to stay,” Merkel said. “But every single case will be reviewed.”
She further promised to never let the chaos that erupted during the refugee crisis be repeated.
“A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated,” she said. “That was and is our, and my, declared political aim.”
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