French President Emmanuel Macron slapped in face while greeting public

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French President Emmanuel Macron has been slapped in the face while greeting the public.

The France leader was struck by a man shouting “A Bas La Macronie” – meaning "Down with Macronia".

Macron had approached well-wishers behind a crowd barrier when the man wearing a green T-shirt launched the unprovoked attack.

Two security guards tackled, while the president was ushered away by another.

Macron remained close to the crowd for several seconds to talk to someone.

A video of the incident was posted online.

The authorities confirmed someone had tried to hit Macron, but gave no further comment.

The attacker's identity remains a mystery, but he shouted "Montjoie Saint Denis," – a common phrase used by the country's armies during the French Revolution.

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Politicians have swiftly denounced the incident online.

Prime Minister Jean Castex told the National Assembly shortly afterwards that while democracy meant debate and legitimate disagreement "it must never in any case mean violence, verbal aggression and even less physical attack".

Meanwhile, far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon tweeted his "solidarity with the President" immediately after the slap.

And on the opposite side of the political spectrum, far-right leader Marine Le Pen posted her own response, saying that "while democratic debate can be bitter, it can never tolerate physical violence".

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President Macron is currently on a tour of France and is believed to have just visited a hotel school in Tain-l'Hermitage.

His visit to the area was due to continue throughout Tuesday, officials said, with a trip to a vocational institute for 25-30 year-olds.

The president's visit comes on the eve of a major step for French bars and restaurants, which will be able to reopen to indoor customers after seven months of closure. France's overnight curfew is also being pushed back on Wednesday from 21:00 to 23:00.

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