In an overwhelming, 67-percent vote, a second Swiss canton, St. Gallen, supported Sunday a new law prohibiting face-covering clothes items in public spots, The Local reported.
The law adopted last year stipulates fines for any person who “renders themselves unrecognizable by covering their face in a public place, and thus endangers public security or social and religious peace.” It passed the regional parliament, with the right-wing and centrist parties backing the initiative, but their rivals, the Green Party and Young Socialists, demanded that the issue be put to the vote thereby exercising Switzerland's famous direct democratic system.
The aforementioned canton essentially followed in the footsteps of the first Swiss province to adopt the so-called “burqa ban,” the southern canton of Ticino.
The federal government, meanwhile, opposed the across-the-table introduction of the “burqa ban,” suggesting that local municipalities should decide for themselves if the measures are appropriate for them.
Prior to the referendum, a survey by two Swiss papers found that an emphatic 76 percent of respondents lauded a ban on face verils, with merely 20 percent opposing it, Aljazeera reported.
A number of other European countries, namely Belgium, Denmark, France, Bulgaria and the Netherlands have fully or partially barred citizens from wearing face veils or head scarves in recent years.