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Angela Merkel supports burqa ban in Germany

Angela Merkel supports burqa ban in GermanyAngela Merkel has called for a burqa ban in Germany and said the refugee crisis “must never be repeated” while making her pitch for a fourth term as Chancellor, The Independent said on Tuesday.

Addressing her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Merkel said she would support a nationwide prohibition on Islamic veils covering the face.

"The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country," she told delegates in Essen, sparking rapturous applause.

"It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible," she added.

Thomas de Maizière, the German interior minister and one of Merkel’s closest allies in the CDU, proposed a partial burqa ban in August and called the veils "contrary to integration".

He said the law would apply in “places where it is necessary for our society's coexistence” including government offices, schools and universities, courtrooms as well as demonstrations.

Merkel is running unopposed for a new term leading the CDU, who first elected her chairwoman in 2000, to launch her bid for a fourth term as German Chancellor.

Two years ago, she won the support of 96.7 per cent of party delegates, one of her best results.

But popularity has been severely dented by growing anti-migrant sentiment in Germany following the arrival of around 1 million asylum seekers in the continuing refugee crisis.

The Chancellor has been widely criticised for her decision to open the borders in September 2015. She has repeatedly refused to reverse the policy amid a string of regional election defeats for her CDU party but struck a new tone on Tuesday.

“A situation like the one in the late summer of 2016 cannot, should not and must not be repeated. That was and is our, and my, declared political aim,” she said.

While Merkel has continued to insist that Germany will take in people in genuine need of protection, her government has moved to toughen asylum rules and declare several countries ”safe“ - meaning people from there cannot expect to receive protection in Germany.

She was also a driving force behind an agreement between the EU and Turkey earlier this year aiming to stop crossings over the Aegean Sea by detaining migrants in Greece under the threat of deportation.
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