Angela Merkel calls for burqa ban wherever 'legally possible'

Angela Merkel calls for burqa ban wherever 'legally possible'
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced support for a burqa ban to be implemented wherever feasible in Germany.

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"The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country," she told delegates in Essen when addressing her conservative Christian Democratic Union, according to the Independent.

"The full-face veil must be banned wherever it is legally possible." 

Merkel also said the refugee crisis "must never be repeated." Merkel was making a pitch for her fourth term as German chancellor.

Support for a burqa ban represents a rightward tilt for Merkel, who is facing pressure from Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany party ahead of next year's elections.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière first raised the idea of a partial burqa ban in August. De Maizière, an ally of Merkel, called the veils "contrary to integration."

He said at the time the laws would be implemented in "places where it is necessary for our society's coexistence," such as government offices and schools.

But he said at the time that he wasn't in support of a general ban.

"You can't forbid everything you reject," he said.