Illegal street traders operating around the Cathedral. | R.L.

Pimem is to offer to contract illegal street sellers to its member businesses if their situation is “regularised” by the authorities and they are trained so that they can work.

The president of the small to medium-sized businesses association, Jordi Mora, says that this proposal was made a couple of months ago but that there has yet to be a response from any relevant administration.

Mora stresses the urgency of finding a solution to the problem of illegal selling in Palma, which is proliferating this summer more than ever.

There has been further growth in the activity since town hall ordinance ceased to expressly prohibit it.

This was under the reform of the public bylaw.

Another bylaw, one governing public order, is due to re-establish the prohibition.

The association believes that the proposal is a way of tackling the problem. The first step needs to be the regularisation of sellers’ statuses.

Without this, the sellers could not be given employment contracts.

Pimem feels that it is essential that social services undertake an assessment of individuals’ labour situations and then initiate a process of training to enable them to be hired. “We have to get them off the streets,” insists Mora, who has denounced the ‘mafia’ that is behind the sellers.

The authority that Pimem has most in mind is the town hall, which says that it is not aware of the Pimem proposal but that it will be studied if it is officially presented. Palma City Hall has said that it cannot ban illegal street traders because it would infringe their human righjts.

But, under state law, the practice is illegal and councils do have the power to enforce it and crackdown on illegal street trading.