Palma.—The Association of Shopkeepers and Retailers in Palma is demanding that the city council and the police tackle the problem of illegal street vendors.

The association wants an immediate crackdown before the start of the summer season.
They are particularly concerned at the growth of this illegal activity in the Plaza Mayor in Palma and in the Playa de Palma, (Can Pastilla and Arenal). “After a few months in which we had seen a fall in street vendors we have now detected that they have returned in force and we want the police to take action,” the association said in a communique released yesterday. The association was due to hold talks with the city council later yesterday to discuss the problem. “Not only are these vendors giving the city a bad name by selling articles that are illegal they are also scaring shoppers away,” they said. “The city council has made all- year-around-tourism one of their major goals, they should ensure that tourists are not offered illegal items,” the association said. “This problem has become so serious that we suspect that a Mafia-type organisation is running the whole operation across the city.” Not only is the Association calling on the council to act against the illegal vendors they also want the police to seize the items that they sell. “All this merchandise is illegal and the police should investigate how it is stored and distributed,” the association said.
Last spring hundreds of shopkeepers took part in a protest against the illegal vendors in Palma which led to a crackdown by police.
During the winter it is alleged that many of the street vendors who operate in Palma head to holiday destinations on the mainland only to return once the summer season gets underway on the island.

Traders called on shoppers to boycott their illegal activity and not buy any of their items.