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

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French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, arrive for a lunch Tuesday in Valence, France. A man slapped the president in the face during the French leader’s visit to a small town in southern France.Philippe Desmazes/AP

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 in their late 20s, 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.

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.

Emmanuel Macron giflé: un témoin BFMTV filme l’agression d’un autre angle pic.twitter.com/mP907RtTki— BFMTV (@BFMTV) June 8, 2021

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.”

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

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

And former President François Hollande tweeted, “To attack a President of the Republic is to give an unbearable intolerable blow to our institutions.”(NPR)

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