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French presidential spokesperson Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that President Emmanuel Macron will continue meeting people on the street, despite being slapped by someone in a small crowd.
Macron, who was on a trip to take the country’s pulse after the pandemic and with less than a year to go before the next presidential election, was hit on Tuesday during a walkabout in southern France as he greeted a small crowd of onlookers.
The president reached out to greet a man, who shouted, “Down with Macronia” and “Montjoie Saint-Denis,” the battle cry of the French army when the country was a monarchy and slapped Macron across the cheek.
Macron said he had not feared for his safety and continued shaking hands with members of the public after he was struck.
Attal denied reports that a security alert was raised concerning Macron’s meet-and-greet in the town of Tain L’Hermitage and said presidential guards were on “permanent alert.”
He said the incident will not stop Macron from taking the people’s pulse, especially as France is seeking to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.