French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face as he shook hands in a crowd during a visit to a small town in southern France on Tuesday. Two men, both in their late 20s, have been arrested.
The scene, which was filmed, shows Macron working a rope line in the town of Tain-l’Hermitage. While shaking Macron’s hand, a man is able to slap his face before security intervenes.
French media say they are identified with the yellow vest movement — the mostly white, working class protests that dogged Macron politically and personally during much of 2018 and 2019.
The slapper yelled “Montjoie Saint-Denis, à bas la Macronie.” Part of the phrase is a 12th century royalist slogan that today has become a rallying cry of the far right. The other part means “down with Macronism.”
French politicians from across the political spectrum were quick to condemn the attack.
Far right leader Marine Le Pen called the behavior unacceptable and deeply deplorable in a democracy.
Watch video below:
Emmanuel Macron giflé: un témoin BFMTV filme l'agression d'un autre angle pic.twitter.com/mP907RtTki
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) June 8, 2021
And former President Francois Hollande tweeted, “To attack a President of the Republic is to give an unbearable intolerable blow to our institutions.”