Most of us at one time or another have probably purchased one item or another from a Chinese or African seller on or around the beach. Maybe a few DVDs, a pair of sunglasses or a nice handbag. One of the best purchases I ever made this way was an upright ventilator from a Moroccan guy that happened to be walking across Guardamar beach for 20 euro. It lasted me about 10 years!
Obviously those that have businesses selling the same items are against this type of merchandising, and have voiced their protests over the years.
And in Torrevieja, as well as many other tourist destinations, this type of merchandiser has been persecuted by the police. You often see them packing up within a few seconds and doing a runner as soon as they spot a police patrol in sight.
Well, now the town hall of Torrevieja, led by the Green Party’s José Manuel Dolón, has taken it one step further, and together with the Association for the Defence of the Brand (Andema) has put in place a campaign to make people aware of the repercussions of buying these items illegally.
Councillors have decided to modify the town’s by-law regarding street vendors that will include sanctions handed out to those that buy goods from them. This will take a few months to implement as the amendments will have to pass through various procedures.
And the town hall is certain that other large cities, including Barcelona, are also considering enforcing something similar. This is because there is a demand, which the sellers are supplying, and therefore it only makes sense to sanction those that are contributing to the continuation of this type of illegal business – the buyers.
Not only this, but anyone that buys illegally should be made aware that they are just lining the pockets of the mafias at the top of the chain and are purchasing products that have not passed the quality controls that all manufactured products are subject to.
So, if you do make a habit of buying from the street vendors in Torrevieja, it might be a good idea to stock up on items before the new law is actually enforced.