French President slapped by onlooker in shocking moment

·2-min read

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

The French president was greeting the public waiting for him behind barriers in the town of Tain-l’Hermitage on Tuesday after he visited a high school that is training students to work in hotels and restaurants.

The man, who was dressed in a khaki T-shirt, shouted "Down with Macronia" ("A Bas La Macronie") and slapped Macron on the left side of his face.

French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped during a visit to a small town. Source: Twitter/@AlexpLille
French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped during a visit to a small town. Source: Twitter/@AlexpLille

He could also be heard shouting "Montjoie Saint Denis", the battle cry of the French army when the country was still a monarchy.

A bodyguard, who was standing right behind Macron, raised a hand in defence of the president, but was a fraction of a second too late to stop the slap. 

Man tackled after slapping French president

Two of Macron's security detail tackled the man in the T-shirt, and another ushered Macron away. Another video posted on Twitter showed that the president, a few seconds later, returned to the line of onlookers and resumed shaking hands.

The local mayor, Xavier Angeli, told franceinfo radio that Macron urged his security to "leave him, leave him" as the offender was being held to the ground.

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Macron just managed to turn his face away as the aggressor's right hand connected, making it appear that the president took more of a glancing blow than a direct slap.

The president’s office confirmed a video that was widely circulating online.

French news broadcaster BFMTV said police detained two people – the man suspected of slapping Macron and another man who filmed a video.

Macron did not comment on the incident.

with AP and Reuters

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