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French President Emmanuel Macron has been slapped by a man during a trip to southeast France

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French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face as he shook hands in a crowd during a visit Tuesday to a small town in southern France. Two men, both age 28, 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 the president’s face before security intervenes.

A bodyguard, who was standing right behind Macron, raised a hand in defense of the president, but was a fraction of a second too late to stop the slap. The bodyguard then put his arm around the president to protect him.

Macron just managed to turn his face away as the attacker’s right hand connected, making it seem that he struck more a glancing blow than a direct slap.

The man, who was wearing a mask, appears to have cried out “Montjoie! Saint Denis!” a centuries-old royalist war cry, before finishing with “A bas la Macronie,” or “Down with Macron.”

In 2018, the royalist call was cried out by someone who threw a cream pie at far-left lawmaker Eric Coquerel. At the time, the extreme-right, monarchist group Action Francaise, took responsibility for that action. Coquerel on Tuesday expressed his solidarity with Macron.

Speaking at the National Assembly, Prime Minister Jean Castex said “through the head of state, that’s democracy that has been targeted,” in comments prompting loud applauds from lawmakers from all ranks, standing up in a show of support.

France's Macron slapped in the face during visit to small town | The Times  of Israel

Talking to the local newspaper, the Dauphiné Libéré, later, Macron said: “We must not let this overshadow the other issues that are so important to the lives of so many.”

Asked if he felt the political climate was deteriorating, the president replied: “No, I don’t want isolated individuals or those who go to extremes to somehow make people forget the rest. The French people are a republican people. The overwhelming majority of French people are interested in the fundamental problems.

“Let’s not let isolated events, the kind of ultra-violent individuals we also see in some demonstrations, take over the public debate. They don’t deserve it.”

Macron said it would not stop him meeting ordinary people on his visits and he had “no apprehensions at all”.  BBC News

“In fact, I went on and greeted the people present who were next to the man and I took photos with them. I carried on and I will carry on.


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