French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face on Tuesday by a man in a crowd of onlookers during a visit to a town in southern France, video of the incident showed.
Macron’s security entourage pulled the man to the ground and moved Macron away. Two people were arrested, BFM TV and RMC radio reported.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the attack was an affront to democracy.
Macron was on a visit to the Drome region in southeastern France, where he met restaurateurs and students to talk about returning to a normal life after the COVID-19 epidemic.
In a video circulating on social media, Macron, dressed in shirt sleeves, could be seen walking towards a crowd of well-wishers standing behind a metal barrier.
He reached out his hand to greet one man, in a green T-shirt, with glasses and a face mask.
The man could be heard shouting out “Down with Macronia” (“A Bas La Macronie”) and then he slapped Macron in the face.
Two of Macron’s security detail tackled the man, while another ushered Macron away. But Macron remained in the vicinity of the crowd for a few more seconds, and appeared to be talking to someone on the other side of the barriers.
The presidential administration said there had been an attempt to strike Macron, but declined further comment.
The identify of the man who slapped Macron, and his motives, were unclear.
While slapping the president, he could be heard shouting “Montjoie Saint Denis,” which was the battle cry of the French armies when the country was still a monarchy.