UPDATE 1115GMT: the report has now been published.
So it looks like there won’t be an outright ban on wearing the burka and niqab in France after all.
One senior lawmaker had suggested there should be a 750 euro fine for people caught in the street wearing the full covering, worn by an estimated 2,000 Muslim women in the country.
A report due out today is expected to recommend a ban limited to “public services” only.
In practice, it seems the recommendation will stop women who are wearing the burka from drawing child benefit or getting on a bus.
There’s already speculation about why the final recommendation will be a watered-down version of the proposal above.
President Sarkozy has merely said the dress is “not welcome” in France, where there has been passionate debate on the subject; polls suggest the majority favours an outright ban.
Is this a good compromise? Should the law go further? Should governments stay out of telling people how to dress? Or should taxfunded services be denied to people who don’t conform to a dress code approved by the majority?