Austria's presidential candidate calls burkini ban "ridiculous"

Austrian presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen on Sunday called the idea of banning burkinis "ridiculous," according to news agency APA.

The former Green party leader admited to the agency that he found the full-face veil to be "a bit scary."

But he said that he did not agree with conservatives who have been calling for a legal restriction on women wearing the burkini, a full-body swimsuit inspired by the burqa.

Van der Bellen is campaigning for the presidency against far-right contender Norbert Hofer.

Austrians are set to return to the polls on October 2nd in a repeat of the country's presidential election due to widespread procedural irregularities in the ballot counting.

The swimsuit has stirred controversy in several corners of Europe, with former French president and upcoming election hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy calling for it to be banned.

Security concerns following recent terrorism attacks across France led French municipalities to install a temporary ban on wearing the burkini in public.

However France's highest administrative court later suspended the ban following a legal challenge, ruling that there was no evidence showing that swimwear disturbs public order.

Last update: Sun, 04/09/2016 - 12:52

More from Europe

Norway: No suspects linked to stolen gate from former Nazi camp

Norwegian police said Saturday they had no suspects linked to the find of a gate believed to have been stolen in...

Scottish village gets 384,000-pound gift from former German POW

A village in Scotland has received a gift of 384,000 pounds (489,000 dollars) from a German soldier who was held...

German police record 877 attacks against refugee homes this year

There have been 877 attacks against refugee homes in Germany so far in 2016, police said Saturday, suggesting that...

Christmas tree thieves in Germany drunkenly stumble into police

Two drunk Christmas tree thieves in the south-western German city of Ulm were caught red-handed when they were...

Two migrants die in Austria while hiding in freight train

Two migrants have died in Austria while hiding in a goods train, police said on Saturday.