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PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron was hit by a man on a reception line, according to a, when he was leaving a professional high school in southeastern France Video circulating on social media.
“A man tried to beat the president. We have no further comments to make at this point, ”an Elysee official said on Tuesday.
As Macron approaches the reception line, a person can be seen slapping him in the face. Macron is immediately taken away by his personal security officer. A few minutes later the President and his wife could be seen greeting the people warmly and cheerfully at a second stop.
Two men were arrested, according to an interior ministry official.
Macron visits a city in south-eastern France on a whistle-stop tour of the country.
The last time he was confronted with violence by a crowd was at the height of the Yellow Jackets protests in December 2018 when his car was blocked by protesters.
Politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the physical attack and condemned the political context of increasing verbal violence.
Prime Minister Jean Castex called for a “republican awakening” adding: “Democracy is debate, dialogue, the expression of legitimate differences, but it cannot be violence, verbal or physical aggression.”
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen also condemned “excruciating physical aggression against the President of the Republic,” as she put it.
UPDATED: This story has been updated to show the Home Office has confirmed two arrests.