French President Emmanuel Macron slapped by member of public

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron reached out for a handshake, while on a regional tour, but received a high-five to the face instead on Tuesday, 8 June, when a man in southeast France slapped him across the face.

The man, while gripping Macron's arm, then slapped the president across his left cheek.

Macron stretched his hand to shake a man - who was wearing a green shirt's - hand when he was slapped across the face.

"The man who tried to slap the president and another individual are now being questioned by the gendarmerie", the regional prefecture said in a statement. The presidential guard quickly move in and take hold of the assailant.

Mr Macron was in La Drôme to meet restaurant owners, ahead of Wednesday's easing of Covid-19 restrictions in France. "I stand in solidarity with the President".

A local police spokesman confirmed that two men had been arrested at the scene of the attack.

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"Politics can in no way be about violence, verbal aggression, much less physical aggression.we are all concerned, this concerns the foundations of our democracy", Castex said, speaking at a session of the National Assembly.

French media later described the attacker as an "anarchist". "Respect for the institutions of the Republic and its representatives is a cardinal principle of our democratic life".

"The benefit of all this is that it puts an end to violent and hatred".

It is not the first time that Mr Macron has been attacked by angry crowd members while out in public.

Xavier Bertrand, a member of the centre-right Les Repupicains, also commented on the attack saying, "No political disagreement will ever justify violence".

He is widely expected to run for re-election in France's presidential elections in 2021.

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