This article on France possibly banning the burqa initially struck me as more talk than action, the longer I read the more possible it seemed:
Speaking after a group of MPs requested an inquiry into the "degrading" use of the burka and niqab, government spokesman Luc Chatel said it was important to establish to what extent women's rights were being compromised by the garments.
"If it were determined that wearing the burka is a submissive act, and that it is contrary to republican principles, naturally parliament would have to drawn the necessary conclusions," he said. When asked whether that could mean bringing in legislation to ensure an outright ban, Chatel answered: "Why not?"
For a ban to be implemented, an investigation would first have to be opened and its results studied for any sign of incompatibility between secular values and the use of the full veil. President Sarkozy, who recently defended France's division between the state and religion during a press conference with Barack Obama, is understood to be in favour of the issue being explored.
Sarkozy's leftwing urban policies secretary, herself a Muslim and former president of a women's rights group, today gave her support to "a total ban" on the burka. "I am for the banning of this coffin which kills basic freedoms," Fadela Amara told Le Parisien newspaper. "This debate has to clear the way to a law which protects women."