Two men have been arrested for slapping French President Emmanuel Macron in the face during a public appearance in Tain-l'Hermitage, southern France, Independent reports. One of the arrested men was seen slapping the president after shouting "Down with Macronia" in the video footage of the event. Macron's security tackled the man to the ground and moved Macron to safety.
The man shouted "Montjoie Saint-Denis," the battle cry of French armies when the country was a monarchy. Both the men are 28 and natives of the region. Further details of their identities or and motives are unknown. The Valence prosecutor said in a statement that the men are being detained for violence on a person in a position of public authority.
Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen among many prominent French leaders condemned the incident and expressed their solidarity to the president. Marine Le Pen tweeted that though democratic debate can be bitter, physical violence should not be tolerated. The former president of France, Francois Hollande, tweeted that attacking the president is an intolerable blow to the institutions of the nation and urged the people to show solidarity to the head of their state.
Macron is currently visiting southern France to interact with students, restaurateurs and small business owners regarding returning to everyday life after the pandemic. H had just come out of a professional school that trains students to work in the hospitality industry when the assault happened.
The attack on the head of the nation is a brewing concern among people. Elected officials are physically targeted in the country, particularly after the "yellow vest" economic protest movement clashed with riot officers in 2019.