June 16. 2021. 8:27

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French president Macron slapped in face by member of public

French president Emmanuel Macron has been meeting restaurateurs and students in Drome to talk about how life is returning to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP via Getty

French president Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face on Tuesday by a man in a crowd of onlookers while on a walkabout in southern France, video of the incident showed.

Mr Macron’s security entourage quickly intervened to pull the man to the ground and move the president away from him. Two people were arrested in connection with the incident, broadcasters BFM TV and RMC radio reported.

The incident took place while Mr Macron was on a visit to the Drome region in southeastern France, where he met restaurateurs and students to talk about how life is returning to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic.

In video circulating on social media, Mr Macron, dressed in shirt sleeves, could be seen walking towards a crowd of well-wishers who were behind a metal barrier.

The French president reached out his hand to greet one man, in a green T-shirt, with glasses and a face mask.

The man could be heard shouting out “down with Macronia” in French (“A bas la Macronie”) before slapping Mr Macron’s face.

Two of Mr Macron’s security detail tackled the man in the green T-shirt, while another ushered the president away. But Mr Macron remained in the vicinity of the crowd for a few more seconds and appeared to be talking to someone on the other side of the barriers.

The presidential administration said there had been an attempt to strike Mr Macron, but declined further comment. – Reuters