German MPs approve ban on full-face veils for public servants
The German parliament has approved a government proposal to ban the wearing of full-face veils for public servants while they are at work.
The bill was proposed last year by security officials from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc.
They argued that wearing a burka or other face-covering veils in public schools, courts and other situations compromised public servants' neutrality, and that in many cases it is important for their identity to be known.
The legislation also applies to soldiers.
The law passed the lower house of parliament late on Thursday and still needs upper house approval.
Opponents have criticised the measure as merely symbolic, saying there are almost no public servants who wear such veils.