immigrants boats illegal immigration
© AP/Sima Diab
Pressure on Spain's maritime border is increasing, with videos showing boatloads of illegal migrants crashing into busy tourist beaches circulating online as the country overtakes Italy and Greece as the EU's major weak point.

Footage shared by Diario de Cรกdiz on Twitter shows an entire boatload of migrants landing in the middle of the packed tourist beach of Zahora on Saturday, July 28th, and disgorging onto the sand, before scattering into the interior unregistered and unvetted.

The incident follows hot on the heels of another illegal landing on Friday at Tarifa, a nudist beach which was not as busy as Zahora due to the time of day.

Footage of the Tarifa landing shows a coast guard or other patrol vessel attempting to stop the migrant boat without success, with the passengers storming the beach while apprehensive locals look on.

Moroccan-dominated gangs running arms, drugs, and unlicensed tobacco products between North Africa and Spain have long been an issue for the Southern European country's authorities, who recently told the El Pais newspaper: "We are in a state of war... And we are losing."

The recent installation of a new Socialist government, which has made a show of being in favour of more open borders at a time when Italy's new populist coalition is cracking down on illegal sea crossings, appears to have left them having to cope with an increased number of migrants as well as conventional criminals.

European security services are concerned that travel of this kind could be used to execute a deadly terror attack, with armed jihadists landing on a beach like the one at Zahora and opening fire on sunbathers in a seaborne version of the Tunisia attack which left 38 mostly British tourists dead in 2017.

Most illegal migrants do not cross the Mediterranean entirely on their own, however, with people-smugglers relying on the tried and true method of towing their human cargo a few miles out to see and then radioing for the European authorities or NGO migrant ferries to collect them and complete the major part of the journey.

Spain has picked up over a thousand illegal migrants over just the last few days in this way, and has now cemented itself as their number one European destination for the first time.

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