Aligi Molina, whose dismissal has been called for. | MDB

Business associations have been joined by the Partido Popular in calling for the dismissal of Palma's councillor for equality, Aligi Molina. Earlier this week there was a heated exchange on Twitter between Molina and the Pimem association after Molina insinuated that a campaign to stop illegal street selling was racist.

Pimem, Pimeco, Afedeco and the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB) have jointly signed a letter to the mayor, Antoni Noguera, expressing their outrage at the "irresponsible and misguided statements" by Molina. The Podemos councillor referred to the "absurdity" of the small retail sector, described as racist, which should be more concerned about the competition from companies like Amazon rather than making scapegoats of illegal sellers.

The business associations demanded a retraction and a public apology. As Molina gave neither, the letter went to Noguera, insisting that Molina should be removed. The associations, while consistently having drawn attention to the unfair competition of illegal sellers, stress that they - like councillors at the town hall - have defended the sellers' human rights and denounced the involvement of "mafias".

It is the politicians, the associations make clear, who should provide a solution. This cannot be businesses, which should certainly not be publicly insulted by a politician.

Margalida Duran, the PP's spokesperson at the town hall, says that Molina's dismissal from the governing group should be "inescapable". Duran has called on the councillor for trade, Joana Maria Adrover (PSOE and not Podemos) to comment. "She has chosen to remain silent."

Lucia Segura, director-general at Molina's department for equality, civic rights and youth affairs, has offered her support to him. Otherwise there has been no comment from the town hall.