The founder of a French group called Don't Touch My Constitution swooped into a Brussels town hall on Wednesday to settle fines that had been slapped on two women wearing full-body Islamic dress under Belgium's new burqa ban.

'As a European citizen, I cannot accept that a democratic government can curtail fundamental freedoms,' Rachid Nekkaz, a French businessman who has set up a 1-million-euro (1.4-million-dollar) fund to help cover burqa fines, was quoted as saying by the local press.

The 50-euro fines issued in Brussels had been given to two women aged 16 and 17.

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