A new video shows French President Emmanuel Macron taking a slap to the face Tuesday during a tour to “take the country’s pulse” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“À bas la Macronie!” a man could be heard shouting — “Down with Macronia!” — at the 43-year-old leader in the village of Tain-l’Hermitage in the Drome region, per the New York Post.
The man also could be heard shouting “Montjoie Saint Denis!” — the battle cry of the French army when the country was still a monarchy.
He then presented Macon with a slap to the left cheek.
The president’s bodyguards were quick to step in, and two people were arrested.
“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.
“Around 1:15 p.m., the president got back into his car after visiting a high school and came back out because onlookers were calling out to him,” the statement continued. “He went to meet them and that’s where the incident happened.”
Macron met students and restaurateurs to discuss the return back to normal life after the pandemic. The incident occurred when he rushed over to a group standing behind a metal barrier. When Macron reached out a hand to the unhappy citizen, he was met with a slap in the face instead.
Macron remained in the area briefly, gesturing to someone on the other side of the barrier before his security team whisked him away.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the incident was an affront to democracy.
“Politics can never be violence, verbal aggression, much less physical aggression,” he said.