Street vendors turn Malta’s prime sites into Flea Markets
GRTU Malta Chamber for SMEs and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association are concerned that anyone who wishes to start selling anything to just set up a stall at a place of their choosing and start trading. This is turning even Malta’s Main Street, Republic Street, into a flea market.
It seems that street vendors can set up their stalls in the best areas, without any sanitary, health, safety or other standards, in some cases only a few meters away from established outlets who have to face a myriad of very costly regulations and other fees.
This disruptive and illegal practice is not being addressed either by central government or local councils. Indeed Local Councils issuing any permits that go beyond those of the village feast are doing so abusively.
The Sliema mayor has also appealed to the cause saying that the Sliema Local Council does not issue such permits because legally they cannot and they are inundated by complaints by the commercial community.
The Sliema mayor also said that the issue is one of lack of enforcement and the cases he encounters are either of individuals not having permits or they have a street hawker’s permit, which permit is used outside the strict parameters that regulate street hawkers, including distance from other commercial establishments.
Our enterprises invest millions of euros to make Malta an attractive destination, a destination of high calibre. Their investment is being devalued by the vendors that occupy our roads and litter our prime sites abusively for their gain without the least consideration for the damage done to the country and other law abiding business people.
The country’s enforcement system continues to fail us and burden the legitimate businesses with inspections and heavy regulations whilst turning a blind eye to the street traders trading unlawfully and turning our island into one gigantic flea market.
GRTU and MHRA call in government to take action now to remove these street traders from our prime sites and ensure they are adhering to regulations.