Foreign Policy

Austria Imposes Burqa Ban, Mandatory Language Classes For Migrants


By Jacob Bojesson

The Austrian parliament passed a number of integration measures Tuesday, including a ban on the burqa and mandatory German classes for migrants.

Wearing a full-face veil in public may result in a 150 euro fine ($167). Migrants will also be required to enroll in a one-year integration course where they will study the German language and learn about ethics and values in Austria.

The new laws also encourage migrants to take on unpaid work to prepare themselves for the labor market once they’ve been granted asylum.

Secretary of State Muna Duzdar said the measures are necessary to give migrants a chance to integrate.

“However, it is also clear that people need to take us up on the offers we create,” she told Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung.

The parliament further agreed to hold a snap election in October after the centrist “grand coalition” collapsed. The election is an opportunity for the populist Freedom Party to enter government for the first time.

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