A French businessman said he would pay all fines imposed on women wearing a full-face veil in Austria under a law banning it from Oct. 1, an Austrian broadcaster reported.

The reported remarks from Rachid Nekkaz, who already pays fines for women who wear Muslim niqabs and burkas despite bans in France and Belgium, provoked criticism from Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

The Austrian ban makes public wearing of the Arab-style niqab, which leaves the eyes uncovered, and the Afghan-style burqa, which covers the face with a cloth grid, liable to a fine of 150 euros.

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