A man slapped French President Emmanuel Macron today during a displacement in the Drôme department, according to a video posted on social media. Two people have been arrested after this incident, according to the BFMTV television network.
The incident occurred outside the Tain-l’Hermitage hospitality institute in the Drôme department in southern France. Macron approached a group of French citizens who were behind a barrier to greet them, as he usually does on many of his trips.
The attacker, who was behind the barrier, grabbed his arm and slapped him with the other hand, as can be seen in the video. The president’s security services quickly intervened and arrested the attacker and one other person. The identity of the aggressor and the reasons for this violent gesture are unknown.
This trip by Macron to the Drôme is part of the “Tour de France of the regions”, which the president began last week with the aim of visiting the territories to, in his own words, “take the pulse of the country” and to contact »with the French. It is expected to make a dozen trips from different parts of the country during the months of June and July, coinciding with the de-escalation, after a 14-month Covid-19 pandemic and three confinements.
The incident provoked the immediate condemnation of the entire French political class. “Democracy is debate, dialogue, confrontation of ideas, but this cannot be verbal or physical aggression,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said in the National Assembly after the broadcast of the video of the attack on the president.
Xavier Bertrand, president of Los Republicanos (conservatives) in Hautes de Francia, strongly condemned “the unacceptable gesture of which Emmanuel Macron has been the victim. No political disagreement justice never violence ». Bertrand considered that “respect for the institutions of the Republic and their representatives is a fundamental principle of our democracy.”
“It is inadmissible to attack political leaders, but even more so against the President of the Republic,” said far-right leader Marine Le Pen. The leader of La Francia Insumisa (the equivalent of Podemos en Marcha), Jean-Luc Mélenchon, showed on Twitter his solidarity with the president after that aggression.