French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face on Tuesday by a man among a crowd of spectators during a visit to a town in southern France, video of the incident showed.
Macron’s security entourage quickly intervened to pull the man to the ground and move Macron away from him.
Two people were arrested in connection with the incident, broadcasters BFM TV and RMC radio reported.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the incident was an affront to democracy.
The incident took place while Macron was visiting the Drôme region in south-eastern France, where he met with restaurateurs and students to talk about how life returns to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a video circulating on social media, Macron, clad in shirt sleeves, could be seen walking towards a crowd of supporters who were behind a metal barrier.
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The French president reached out to greet a man, in a green t-shirt, with glasses and a face mask.
The man was heard shouting “Down with Macronie” (“Down with Macronie”), then slapped Macron in the face.
Two of Macron’s security guards attacked the man, while another made Macron leave. But Macron stayed close to 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 hit Macron, but declined to comment further.
The identity of the man who slapped Macron and his motives were unclear.
While slapping the president, we hear him shout “Montjoie Saint Denis”, which was the battle cry of the French armies when the country was still a monarchy.