Illegal selling - it's been a problem for years.


The national government's delegation in the Balearics, together with the Guardia Civil and National Police, is to draft a document to do with illegal street selling. It will be sent to town halls, with the aim of influencing bylaws and tackling the proliferation of illegal sellers.

The agreement to send this document follows another meeting with the business associations, Afedeco and Pimem, which constantly point to the damage caused to small retailers' business. It also comes two months after the delegation reminded town halls of their responsibilities for dealing with illegal selling.

The government's delegate, Maria Salom, said she understood the frustration of business representatives and restated a commitment of the state security forces for dealing with the illegal activity. She stressed that there is a fight against the "mafias" which distribute goods to the sellers, as evidenced by a joint Guardia Civil/Palma police operation last week. As for the occupation of the "public way", she noted that this is an issue which needs to be handled by individual town halls.

Calvia town hall last week released figures that showed a notable rise in the number of charges issued by police for illegal selling. While Calvia might be an example of a town hall attempting to crack down, there is a sense that the document is aimed at town halls which seem to equivocate - Palma being one of them.

However, one of the problems for town halls and local police is that they can charge people with offences but these have only limited effect. The sellers are often back out on the streets in no time and fines aren't necessarily paid.

Illegal street selling, though it is said to now be proliferating, has been widespread for years. It used to mainly only be an issue during the summer tourism season, but in the recent past - in Palma if nowhere else - it has virtually become all year.

An indication of just how long there has been a problem and also of the difficulties in dealing with it can be found in an old edition of the local magazine for Palmanova and Magalluf. In 1989, there was a report outlining Calvia police's initiative against illegal selling. And by 1989, it was hardly a new phenomenon.

A new document to assist with bylaws may help, but history shows how seemingly intractable a problem it is.


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jon / Hace 11 months

And on the other side of the Island in places such as Sa Coma and S'illot fake bags and copied goods are openly sold on the weekly markets stalls....where the stall locations are assigned by the police.


Michael Robert Burden / Hace 11 months

Your story below, Geoff, just goes to show how some policemen in Majorca (like some in the U.K.) go for the "easy pickings" (like the bubble man) but turn a blind eye to people who are somewhat more challenging (like the African prostitute muggers in Magaluf).



Geoff / Hace 11 months

I watched a police officer bust a guy last night who was creating soap bubbles for the children in front of the cathedral. The police officer pulled up in his car, got out, lit a cigarette and then approached the guy demanding to see his paperwork, all the time pointing to the water and soap residue on the ground. A small child was looking on wondering 'what happened to all the bubbles'. The innocence of a young child who will quickly grow up and realise that it is 'Who you know, not what you know' in this world that matters the most. Meanwhile the illegal sellers were plying their trade in other parts of town. Let's hope they don't start making soap bubbles otherwise they will really be in trouble. As a footnote, the police officer then discarded his cigarette butt on the ground! Clearly having water and soap residue on the ground is infinitely worse than cigarette butts!


Geoff / Hace 11 months

Well we can rule out ineptitude because the authorities seem pretty adept at rounding up the illegals who have crossed over from Algeria, even those that made it as far as Palma. That leaves corruption, a word that is not unfamiliar here in Spain. Clearly it is widespread since it extends from the issuance of travel documents, the processing through immigration and the 'protected status' they enjoy with the local police. Sure there have been some token confiscations but that is all they are, simply to appease those who care. I feel sorry for those dedicated police officers who have probably been told that it is not worth the aggravation, the tying up of the courts, the budget cutbacks. There are a million excuses you can feed to somebody who wants to correct the problem but can't. The fact that this is so widespread indicates just how much money is at stake and it has nothing to do with selling cheap sunglasses and knock-off purses. To create such an intricate web from the top of the food chain to the bottom requires the benefit to far outweigh the risk. It's a delicate 'House of Cards' but it would be interesting to know who is actually dealing the cards.


Bill4121 / Hace 11 months

Every year it is the same problems violent mugging prostitutes,street sellers and drug pushers. Politicians and police must be so corrupt for this not to resolved in the maximum of a couple of weeks. Someone is making a lot of money out of this in high places. Where are the prosecutions of club,bar owners trip organisers who continue to sell to those who are already intoxicated.


Lawrie / Hace 11 months

They're black...nothing will be done, end of story. We've been here many many times before.


Edinmanc / Hace 11 months

The looky looky men are the bane of our lives when we are on holiday in Santa Ponsa , on the street, in the bars and even in restaurants whilst we are eating . It really bemuses me why they are allowed to sell their cheap tat in establishments, not just on the streets . It's not as though they can't be spotted , they stick out like a sore thumb . Intolerable .


Mike L / Hace 11 months

In Magaluf and other places the lucky luckys openly sell drugs in the street in broad daylight, I mean we all know they don't make money with a board of sun glasses for sale! Also the black hoors that come down every night and rob the folk who are incapacitated in one way or another. The town hall introduced so many new ''laws'' but ignored the worst one! YEs I certainly agree with some of the new ''laws'' but there are 2 staring them straight in the face and they openly wont do anything about it. Unfortunately I think some one at the top has involved them in this to clean up Magaluf and if this ever does happen they will be stopped altogether!


Geoff / Hace 11 months

OMG......are you kidding me? I just do not know why we keep flogging a dead horse. Instead of talking about it, do something about it. It is pathetic. You get hounded on the street, in bars, in restaurants. If any of us tried doing this, we would be stopped dead in our tracks but for some reason, illegal sellers, mainly from Senegal, selling illegal goods and not paying taxes, can do it. Amazing how they know when the police are coming yet the police cannot out fox the sellers, or do they really want to? I watched three having their goods confiscated. Within 30 minutes, the one guy was on his cell phone ready to get back in business. It boggles the mind why the authorities are so reluctant to stamp this out. A bunch of bleeding hearts who feel these sellers deserve something. Well if you really want equality, treat them the way you would any other person who is illegal, selling illegal goods and not paying any taxes. When did the definition of 'illegal' change?


Les / Hace 11 months

Stop the Restaurants giving them cover when the Police are around, also Restaurants allowing them to try their 'luck' whilst customers are eating. I get the feeling at times the Owners are scared of them. Maybe using Police out of uniform to catch them, confiscate their wares and money would be a start!