Street traders in Palma. | P.A.

The Balearic Association for Arts and Crafts people yesterday complained that illegal street traders have reduced their takings by between 30 and 50 percent during the first few months of the holiday season.

The association yesterday lodged an official compliant with Palma City Council in which it demands that action be taken to clear away the illegal street traders.

The association said that it is totally unfair and incompatible to have 21 authorised stalls in Mercat de S’Hort del Rei, near the Cathedral, for which stall holders have paid for, surrounded by hoards of illegal street traders.

The association claims to have identified 95 illegal street traders operating in the area and visitors are unable to establish which of the traders are authorised and which are illegal.

“We pay for our traders’ licenses, we pay our rates and taxes yet we get no protection from the city council whatsoever. Association President, Maria Oliver said that business has been hit hard this year and is only going to get worse unless the council steps in.

“It’s chaos and the tourists end up being bullied into either buying from the illegal street traders or simply purchasing the cheapest thing they can find.

“Until there are proper rules and regulations in place, the police cannot take action which means that in the meantime, the illegal street traders are untouchable,” she added.