Spain's parliament has rejected a proposal to ban women from wearing in public places Islamic veils that reveal only the eyes.
The proposal was debated late Tuesday; 183 MPs opposed the ban, 162 MPs voted for it and two abstained.
The nonbinding proposal had been put forward by the leading opposition Popular Party, which portrayed it as a measure in support of women’s rights. The ruling Socialist Party opposed the ban.
Other European countries have also debated banning body covering clothing such as burkas or niqabs.
Within Spain, the city government of north-eastern Barcelona and some neighbouring town councils have banned the wearing of such clothing in public buildings such as town halls and hospitals.