French President Emmanuel Macron received a slap by a member of the public on Tuesday and the video of the incident has gone viral on social media.
The incident occurred on Tuesday as the French President visited the southeastern region to meet restaurateurs and students to talk about how life is returning to normal as the country’s COVID lockdown eases.
The viral video clip shows a man dressed in a green T-shirt wearing glasses and a face mask shout “Down with Macronia,” (Down with Macron-ism) before slapping Macron.
During the incident, the man — whose identity and motives were initially unclear — could also be heard shouting “Montjoie Saint Denis,” which is a medieval battle-cry used by the Capetian royal dynasty, which ruled France from the 10th to the 18th century.
The video clip of the incident has gone viral on social media.
What’s been the reaction?
Prime Minister Jean Castex told the National Assembly shortly afterward the incident that while democracy meant to debate and legitimate disagreement “it must never, in any case, mean violence, verbal aggression, and even less physical attack”.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who is Macron’s biggest political opponent, during a Tuesday press conference said physically attacking the President was “unacceptable.”
“We can attack him politically” but any violence against him should be condemned in a democracy, she added.
However, many anti-Macron social media users came out celebrating the incident.