Sarkozy visits rough Paris suburb

On Monday January 21st, French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid an unexpected visit to Paris’ suburb of Sartrouville, marking his first visit to one of the country’s poor towns that is home to many immigrants and French citizens of immigrant origin. Speaking in front of the town’s train station, Sarkozy said that he would soon address problems with unemployment and poverty in a detailed plan to be unveiled next month. The idea is we’re going to give you the chance to work or study, he said, adding that it would be not a last chance but a first one.

The Veil Remains Forbidden for Bavarian Teachers

The Islamic veil remains forbidden for Bavarian teachers. On Monday January 15, in Munic, the state constitutional tribunal rejected the appeal of an islamic religious community, originally from Berlin, to revoke the 2005 law that forbids the veil for teachers in the Bavarian schools. Arguing that the law restricts religious liberty and goes against the principle of equality, the plaintants denounced a situation where nuns are permitted to teach in their habit but women who wear the veil are not. The tribunal followed the arguments of the Bavarian governmnet, which considered the nun’s habit to be compatible with the fundamental values and the educational objectives of Bavarian law. The debate is far from over. In 2006, the administrative tribunal of Stuttgart rescinded the legislation of Baden-Wurtemburg, upholding the argument of a teacher who denounced the treatment of veiled teachers as unequal. In Bavaria, the battle could begin again. The Munich tribunal upheld the Bavarian legislation without making an explicit statement on the headscarf.