The Austrian Government announced that it intends to prohibit the wearing of the Islamic veil entirely in the public places, reports AFP. ‘The full-face veil will be banned in public spaces’, said the social democrat, Christian Kern during the presentation of the action plan prepared together with his Conservatory ally OVP, which covers a wide range of areas. ‘We believe in an open society that is also based on open communication. Full-body veils in public spaces stand against that and will therefore be prohibited,’ states the coalition. This prohibition of the veil (niqab, burqa), already in force in Bulgaria, Belgium, France,and in some regions of the Switzerland, could be accompanied by a debate on the veil wearing in the public posts.
The Austrian Government wants, after consultation with the religious communities, to propose a ‘law of neutrality’, indicated the chancellor, quoting the posts of soldiers, policemen and magistrates. This law will not aim in particular the removal of the Islamic veil to not give the 600,000 Muslims from Austria the feeling that they are not part of the society, according to Kern. Under the pressure of the numerous internal critics, the coalition between SPO and OVP, tries to relaunch itself while many observers estimate the organization of the anticipate legislative elections earlier than 2018. The FPO, a party of the extreme right, is considered the favorite to win the votes of the electors.
The coalition’s new program of work puts accent on security and on the immigrants’ integration. It also provides the ability to place under electronic surveillance the Jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria, as well as the obligation of the refugees to sign a ‘contract of integration’ for one year. The government also wants to limit the access of the workers seconded from the EU on the Austrian labor market and to create 70,000 new jobs until 2018.