Nazi tattoo gets public transport driver the sack

The Brussels local transport company MIVB has sacked a member of staff displaying a Nazi tattoo.  The employee had been working at the company for 26 years and showed off his tattoo at a staff party earlier this summer.

The tattoo consists of the figures "88" that form a famous Nazi symbol and refer to the eighth letter of the alphabet, the letter H.  "88" is shorthand for “Heil Hitler”.  Under the figures the man displays an eagle and the letters "SS".

"In the 26 years of his service there have never been any complaints about him.  Until this summer he was discrete about his tattoo" says MIVB spokeswoman An Van Hamme. "Now he has shown it we have no alternative but to dismiss him."

A criminal prosecution is uncertain.  In Germany displaying Nazi symbols on your body is against the law.  This is also the case in Belgium when you display them in public.

Peter Stroobants, a lawyer and expert on labour law, believes the MIVB will have a hard time to motivate the sacking: showing a tattoo at a private party is different to displaying it during his job as a driver.