It appears that ZP may have missed the ball in allowing this vote to suceed.
Fresh from yesterday’s victory, in which he managed to push through his new employment law (more MP’s abstained that actually voted for it, but it got through anyway), he wasn’t paying too much attention to a PP backed motion to ban the wearing of the Burka and Niqab in all public places. Newspapers are saying that this controversial measure, which nobody in power expected to get through, passed as a protest vote against yesterdays forcing through of harsh new laws. ZP had elicted promises from his allies that they would vote no on the measure.
But his allies in parliament, the CiU and the UpN both backpedalled on earlier promises to vote against this measure, and voted in favour. The measure has passed by 131 votes to 129 against (see El Mundo).
This doesn’t mean that these symbols of female oppression and sexual slavery have yet been banned in Spain (although they should be). Instead, the Senate has approved a measure to legislate on their usage, and a law must now be drafted to control their use in all public places. The proposal says that “a new law must be drafted, in accordance with Islamic traditions and their communities in Spain, to ensure the right of sexual freedom and the respect of female rights”.
CiU spokesman Montserrat Candini explained that his party was not advocating the banning of these garments, but insisted that a national debate on whether they are appropriate for use in Spain must be opened, and UpN (a Navarran nationalist party) explained that they believed these garments violated the right to sexual equality, as enshrined in the Law of Equality. Both parties intend to table amendements to the original draft, which will now go to discussion.
Frankly, nothing makes me angrier than seeing some cocky little git walking down the road in jeans and t-shirt, with his wife in full burka pushing the wheelchair. Makes me want to clip him with the wing mirror as I drive past.