French President Macron Is Slapped In The Face During A Visit To A Small Town

NPR | 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. They risk three years in prison and a $50,000 fine over an attack on a public official.

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.

French media said the two arrested 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.”

Several hours afterward, Macron played down the incident in an interview with a local newspaper, Le Dauphiné Libéré. “Everything is fine,” he said.

“You have to relativize this incident, which is I think an isolated one. We can’t let this take over the public discussion of more important issues which concern everyone’s lives.”

Macron said the country could not let a few ultraviolent individuals take over the public debate.

“They don’t deserve it,” he said.

French politicians from across the political spectrum were quick to condemn the attack.

Former socialist President François Hollande tweeted, “To attack a President of the Republic is to give an unbearable intolerable blow to our institutions.”

And far-right leader Marine Le Pen called the behavior unacceptable and deeply deplorable in a democracy.

“I am the first opponent of Emmanuel Macron, but he is the president of the Republic,” she said in an interview.

“We can fight him politically, but we cannot afford to have to the slightest violence.”

French news channels played the video and analyzed the incident nonstop. Some commentators questioned whether the security around Macron was good enough. Others said the president had taken a risk because he got back out of the car to go shake people’s hands — an act that wasn’t planned.

Most commentators agreed that a French president must be able to get out and circulate among the people.

Citing France’s traditions of free expression and democracy, Macron told Le Dauphiné Libéré that the responsibility that goes with those freedoms means there should be no violence or hatred in speech or in actions.

The incident won’t stop him from greeting members of the public, the president said.

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4 comments

  1. This is democracy, the worst system of public administration kikikiki

  2. Although Macron deserves a psychological slap for his recent policies in Africa, I however do not condone this type of brutal attack. Better throw rotten eggs on him.

    The guy cannot even apply a real slap! If I were Macron I would have put that presidential tie aside and taught him how to apply a real slap.

    This is the type of temperament people Like Ayaba Cho have, everything is slap. No brain to think and defeat the opponent in his own game…

  3. you cannot even touch the half death man rulling cameroon.
    You will see horses, motocycles, and BIR guys guarding a half death man like he is GOD.
    African leaders are human beings from another planet..
    Biya , an old man on diapers knows that an average needs only bread, Sardine and a bottle of beer ..
    As long as there is food, nobody cares what he is doing and how much he steals from Cameroon koffers….

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