Neus Truyol, wearing the sweatshirt at the council meeting. | Pilar Pellicer

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The row about a sweatshirt worn by Neus Truyol, the councillor for the model of the city, continued at Palma's council meeting on Thursday.

Some three weeks ago, Truyol posted a photo on Twitter of her wearing a Top Manta sweatshirt; she had received it as a Christmas present. Responses to this included accusations of promoting illegal business activity and harming businesses that comply with trading regulations. Truyol explained that Top Manta was a registered brand and was totally legal. However, this didn't prevent the matter from being taken to the council meeting. Three opposition parties - Ciudadanos, Partido Popular and Vox - were calling for the mayor, José Hila, to "reprove" Truyol; this being a measure of official criticism.

Truyol had herself responded by describing the opposition parties as being racist and xenophobic. They demanded that she should be reproved for this as well. In the council chamber, Truyol stated that the controversy that had been whipped up had been based on a lie (that the brand was illegal), and she accused the opposition of stigmatising and criminalising a registered brand "that fights for integration and has 25 workers, all migrants". "The problem is not the sweatshirt, the problem is that they don't want black businesspeople."

The mayor entered the debate. The opposition had been wrong. "They saw a tweet and criticised it before informing themselves. Now, instead of rectifying, they launch smoke screens." Hila added that the traders' association had withdrawn from the argument once it had all the information.

Francisco Ducrós, spokesperson for the ruling administration, insisted that the opposition had created the controversy through their error and now continued to look ridiculous. For Ciudadanos, Eva Pomar, concluded that the garment being legal "does not mean that the message is appropriate".

As a point of information, Ducrós stated that the town opened 2,243 proceedings for illegal street selling in 2021.

* Top manta is a term used to refer to illegal street selling. The Top Manta clothing brand was created by a cooperative in Barcelona in 2017.