PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face during a public visit on Tuesday, and two arrests have reportedly been made.
Macron was making a visit to southeast France when he walked up to a fence to greet the public, and video showed a man in the crowd slapping him in the face. According to CNN, the man yelled for the end of “Macronie,” referring to his presidency, and also shouted a medieval battle cry, “Montjoie! Saint-Denis!” He was reportedly tackled to the ground by Macron’s security.
Two men were arrested after the incident, BBC News reports, though the attacker’s identity hasn’t been revealed.
“A man indeed tried to hit the President of the Republic,” the Elysee told CNN in a statement. “We have no further comments at this point. Exchanges with the crowd and handshakes resumed. The trip continues.”
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Tuesday that “through the head of state, that’s democracy that has been targeted,” drawing applause from lawmakers, The Associated Press reports. Castex added, “Democracy is about debate, dialogue, confrontation of ideas, expression of legitimate disagreements, of course, but in no case it can be violence, verbal assault and even less physical assault.”
Here's the moment French President Macron was slapped in the face by a man in a crowd of onlookers while on a walkabout in southern France 👇 pic.twitter.com/mT0g4WPrxr
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 8, 2021