STOCKHOLM (AFP) – The Danish parliament on Thursday passed a law banning the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces, becoming the latest European country to do so.

“Anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine,” says the law, which was passed by 75 votes to 30.

Presented by the centre-right government, the legislation, which is to take effect on August 1, was also backed by the Social Democrats and the far-right Danish People s Party.

Wearing a burqa, which covers a person s entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public will lead to a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156, 134 euros).

Repeated violations will be fined up to 10,000 kroner.

It is not known how many women wear the niqab and burqa in Denmark.

“I don t think there are many who wear the burqa here in Denmark. But if you do, you should be punished with a fine,” Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen was quoted as saying by Ritzau news agency in February.

The European Court of Human Rights last year upheld a Belgian ban on wearing it in public.

France was the first European country to ban the niqab in public places with a law that took effect in 2011.