Tuesday, June 8, 2021 6:22 pm
A man slapped French President Emmanuel Macron full in the face on Tuesday as he was greeting people behind a fence during a visit to the Drome region.
Macron was there to discuss reopening of restaurants as the country eases out of lockdown.
The Elysee Palace confirmed the authenticity of a video circulating online in which Macron can be seen approaching a line of people, preparing to shake hands, when one person behind the barrier reaches out and slaps him.
The palace called it “an attempted slap.”
According to broadcaster Freanceinfo, two men were detained, one of whom was the alleged attacker.
Broadcaster BFM TV reported that the two suspects were about 28 years old.
Media reported that the man who slapped Macron shouted “Montjoie Saint Denis” – a rallying cry of the former French monarchy, still used by royalists – and “Down with Macronism.”
In the video, Macron is swarmed by security personnel after the assault. It is not clear whether he was injured or what happened to people behind the fence.
The palace said Macron continued with his visit in Tain-l’Hermitage close to Lyon.
The incident was condemned by politicians across the political spectrum.
Interior Minister Jean Castex said the incident targeted democracy.
“A democratic debate can be fierce, but it can never tolerate physical violence,” said extreme-right leader Marine Le Pen.
According to media reports, Macron has been booed and attacked verbally in the past, but never physically.
During his time as economy minister he was pelted with eggs.(dpa/NAN)