French President Emmanuel Macron was on Tuesday slapped in the face by a man in a crowd of onlookers, a video of the incident showed.
The president was on a visit to southeast France, where he met students and others to talk about restoring normalcy after the country ended its third coronavirus-induced national lockdown in May, Reuters reported.
The video showed Macron approach a metal barrier to greet a man, who is wearing a green T-shirt with glasses and a face mask. The man, who was holding Macron’s arm, slapped the president across his left cheek.
The man also reportedly shouted “down with Macron-ism”. After this, Macron’s bodyguards quickly intervened and tackled the man. Another member of the security detail is seen pulling the president away from the crowd.
The identity and motive of the man is not clear yet. But, two people have been arrested in connection with the incident, local media reports said.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the attack on Macron was an “affront to democracy”. He also told the National Assembly that while democracy meant debate and legitimate disagreement, “it must never in any case mean violence, verbal aggression and even less physical attack”, according to the BBC.