France's Emmanuel Macron Slapped By Man He Tried To Shake Hands With.

On Camera, France's Macron Slapped By Man He Tried To Shake Hands With

Emmanuel Macron was slapped across the face by a man during a trip. (File)

Paris, France:

A bystander slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face during a trip to southeast France on Tuesday on the second stop of a nation-wide tour.

Images on social media and broadcast on the BFM news channel showed Macron approach a barrier to greet a man who, instead of shaking hands, slapped the 43-year-old across the face.

Macron's bodyguards quickly intervened and two people were arrested afterwards, local officials said.

"The man who tried to slap the president and another individual are currently being questioned by the gendarmerie," the regional prefecture said in a statement.

The incident in the village of Tain-l'Hermitage in the Drome region represents a serious security breach and overshadows the start of Macron's tour which he said was designed to "take the country's pulse."

"Around 1:15 pm (1115 GMT), the president got back into his car after visiting a high school and came back out because onlookers were calling out to him," the prefecture said.

"He went to meet them and that's where the incident happened," it added.

The centrist is widely expected to seek re-election in next year's presidential elections and polls show him with a narrow lead over far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Around a dozen stops had been planned over the next two months, with Macron keen to meet voters in person after more than a year of crisis management linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

- 'Never violence' -

Shortly before being slapped, Macron had been asked to comment on recent remarks from far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon who suggested at the weekend that next year's election would be manipulated.

"Democratic life needs calm and respect, from everyone, politicians as well as citizens," Macron said.

In July last year, Macron and his wife Brigitte were verbally abused by a group of protesters while taking an impromptu walk through the Tuileries gardens in central Paris.

"Politics can never be violence, verbal aggression, much less physical aggression," Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament after the latest incident.

Macron has undertaken several other tours since his 2017 electoral triumph over the traditional parties of government on the left and right.

A 2018 trip to mark the centenary of the end of World War I is best remembered for the scenes of furious citizens booing and heckling France's youngest post-war leader.

It took place just as "yellow vest" protests were gathering momentum to denounce the government's policies and the head of state personally for his leadership style, which was criticised as aloof and arrogant.

Macron conducted another tour billed as a listening exercise in 2019 in the aftermath of those protests, which shook the country and saw him promise to change his way of governing.

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
On Social Media, Asian Hate Spreads Further, Faster.

On Social Media, Asian Hate Spreads Further, Faster.

Asian people in the U.S. have experienced an escalation of racism and harassment amidst the pandemic, and the discrimination has extended to online social networks

Chinese Rover on Mars Ushers in New Space Race

Chinese Rover on Mars Ushers in New Space Race

Increased competition will push scientists to explore more, US space expert says #mars #spaceexploration #China #UnitedStates

Sky News Breakfast: G7, Brexit and June 21 delay?

Sky News Breakfast: G7, Brexit and June 21 delay?

On Sky News Breakfast with Stephen Dixon: - The PM is expected to agree to the delay of lockdown easing in England pencilled in for 21 June - Brexit tensions continue in Cornwall as the Irish PM tells Sky News Boris Johnson must not ignore the Nor...

Irish PM optimistic solution can be found to NI Protocol row.

Irish PM optimistic solution can be found to NI Protocol row.

Ireland's Prime Minister, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, has told Sky News there is "a route" to resolving tensions over the Brexit Protocol following US President Joe Biden's intervention. He urged Boris Johnson to "very seriously consider" a veterina...

Gordon Brown: G7 summit will go down as 'missed opportunity'.

Gordon Brown: G7 summit will go down as 'missed opportunity'.

Gordon Brown says he thinks this G7 summit will go down as a "missed opportunity" - with not enough committed to vaccinating the world, describing it as a "unforgivable moral failure". The former prime minister says there is no "comprehensive plan...

Labour frontbencher urges lockdown easing delay

Labour frontbencher urges lockdown easing delay

Shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry says the scientific evidence is clear and "we can't have a lifting of lockdown at the moment". Ms Thornberry says India should have been put on the red list much sooner, but accuses Boris Johns...