Macron slapped in the face during walkabout in southeastern France

Lula Sharp
June 8, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron has been slapped in the face by a man during a visit to a small town in southeast France.

A video posted on Twitter by French reporter Marcelo Wesfreid shows the incident.

The video showed Macron approach a metal barrier to greet a man, who is wearing a green T-shirt with glasses and a face mask. The president, meanwhile, is pulled away.

Two people were arrested following the incident in the village of Tain-l'Hermitage in the Drome region where Macron had been meeting restaurateurs and students to talk about how life is returning to normal after the Covid restrictions were eased.

"The man who tried to slap the president and another individual are now being questioned by the gendarmerie", the statement added. There, a man yelled "à bas la Macronie", or "down with Macronia", and slapped him in the face.

It is unclear what the motivation was behind the attack on Macron, but far-left MP Éric Coquerel linked the attack to the "royalist far-right", claiming that he had been attacked by members of the royalist group action française in a similar manner several years ago. Macron remained in the vicinity of the crowd for a brief moment, gesturing to someone on the other side of the barriers before his security agents moved him away. Another man, 28, also was arrested, reports the Guardian.

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Politicians have denounced the slap, BBC News reported.

"Politics can never be violence, verbal aggression, much less physical aggression", Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament, adding that "through the president, it is democracy that has been targeted".

The president's visit comes on the eve of a major step for French bars and restaurants, which will be able to reopen to indoor customers after seven months of closure.

Macron visit to di area go continue on Tuesday, officials tok with one trip to one vocational institute for 25-30 year-olds.

Shortly before being slapped, Macron had been asked to comment on recent remarks from far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon who suggested at the weekend that next year's election would be manipulated.

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