President Emmanuel Macron slapped during visit to southeast France

Elias Hubbard
June 8, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped by a man at a receiving line as he came out of a professional high school in southeastern France, according to a video circulating on social media.

The man could be heard shouting out "Down with Macronia" ("A Bas La Macronie") and then he delivered a slap to Macron's face. Macron is immediately pulled away by his personal security officer.

Images broadcast by French television news channel BFM, showed Macron, 43, approaching the barrier which separated the president and his entourage of bodyguards from the crowd.

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.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, of the left-wing La France Insoumise group, said simply: 'I stand in solidarity with the President'.

Elysee Palace later confirmed to local media that the incident took place and indicated that two people were arrested in connection with the altercation.

"Politics can never be violence, verbal aggression, much less physical aggression", Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament after the latest incident.

"One is thought to have described himself as an anarchist, but an enquiry is ongoing" said the spokesman.

"Although democratic debate can be bitter, it can by no means tolerate physical violence".

The French president began a grand tour of France last week ahead of regional elections and next year's presidential vote, with the trip expected to include around a dozen stops over the next two months. "It is unacceptable to attack politicians but even more so the President of the Republic because he is the President of the Republic".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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