Philippe Desmazes / AP
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, were arrested.
The scene that was filmed shows Macron working on a cable car in the town of Tein-l’Hermitage. While shaking Macron’s hand, a man is able to slap his face before the guards intervene.
French media say they have been identified with the yellow vest movement – mostly white working-class protests that spurred Macron politically and personally for most of 2018 and 2019.
The slap shouted “Montjoie Saint-Denis, down with Macronie.” Part of the phrase is a royalist slogan from the 12th century, which today has become a cohesive cry of the far right. The other part means “down with macronism.”
French politicians across the political spectrum quickly condemned the attack.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen called the behavior unacceptable and deeply deplorable in a democracy.
And former President Francois Hollande wrote on Twitter: “Attacking the president of the republic means inflicting an unbearable unbearable blow on our institutions.”