On Tuesday June 8, 2021 a video circulated widely on social media of the French President, Emmanuel Macron getting slapped by citizen as he approached them for his routine greetings with the people.
The video has since had a rather comical reaction around the world for non French citizens, but has been met with disdain and disapproval from the French Political class, even from Macron’s biggest critics.
As of now, there has been no specific information revealed about the French citizen who physically assaulted President Emmanuel Macron during his visit in the city of Valence.
However, the words shouted at the president’s face before slapping him could give an insight on why this citizen decided to express his anger with the French President through assault.
As president Macron approached and reached out to the waiting crowd, the man grabbed his hand and yelled “Down with Macron-ism” then slapped. The middle aged man who was dressed in a green T-shirt was arrested by the President’s guard alongside one other person for further investigations.
What is Macron-isme?
The only clue left by the assaulter of the president was his yelling that showed he disapproved with Macron’s Macron-isme.
Macron-isme is a centre to centre-right, liberal and culturally left ideology based on the views of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron-isme supports France based on values of the Republic such as hard secularism, freedom of speech and liberal democracy.
It advocates strong anti-corruption policies, tripartism with labour unions in economy modeled similarly to the Nordic model. Model, interventionism in international politics and Green Liberalism. It also supports a strong European integration with the intention of European Federalization.
Many French citizens have often disapproved of Macron’s policies and demanded for his resignation. The famous yellow vest protesters who have been one Macron’s biggest obstacle throughout his presidency have argued that his policies are Anti-French.
How have French Politicians reacted to the drama?
While many African citizens have tapped from the funny aspect of the President receiving what has been popularly termed as “The Presidential slap” back in France, the political class have heavily condemned the action.
Shortly after the incident at Valence, Prime Minister, Jean Castex told the French Parliament the slap on the president is a slap on democracy. He said democracy is supposed to be a debate and legitimate agreement. “it must never in any case mean violence, verbal aggression and even less physical attack” he scolded.
Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon tweeted his “solidarity with the president” immediately after the slap.
Even one President Emmanuel Macron’s biggest critics during his presidency, Far-right leader, Marine Le Pen posted her own condemnation, saying that “while democratic debate can be bitter, it can never tolerate physical violence”.
President Macron meanwhile returned to the crowd even after he had been slapped in the face and went through his interaction with the people. He said the incident was an isolated one and that it wasn’t going to stop him from pursuing his policies for the French people.