Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has been slapped in the face by a member of the public, while on a visit to the south-east of the country.
Macron was on a visit to the city of Valence. In a video which has been circulated widely on the internet, Macron walks up to a barrier where a group of ostensible supporters are, when a man in a green shirt leans forward and slaps Macron the face. Security officers pulled Macron away and he didn’t suffer any serious injury.
According to the BBC the man who slapped Macron shouted ‘Down with Macronism!’ and ‘Montjoie, Saint-Denis!’ – a battle cry of the Kingdom of France. Two people have been arrested, named by the French press as Damien T and Arthur C.
In response to the incident Macron said: ‘We must not let ultra-violent people take over the public debate: they do not deserve it.’
The motive behind the slap is still unclear.
However Macron, who faces an election this year, is suffering from low approval ratings, with latest polls showing that barely a third of French voters approve of the job he is doing. The latest poll results also indicate that there is a real chance he could lose the election next year to a right-wing politician, Marine le Pen.