The incident isn’t the first of its kind for the embattled French president, who has faced intense criticism in recent months over the economy and coronavirus-related restrictions.
An individual has been detained after throwing an egg-shaped object at French President Emmanuel Macron. The incident reportedly took place in the southern French city of Lyon on Monday.
Tweet reads: “Traveling in Lyon, Emmanuel Macron has become the victim of an egg throw. A young man has been arrested by the security service.”
In the footage, Macron could be seen walking through a local trade fair while surrounded by his security detail, with a brown, egg-shaped object bouncing off his lapel without splattering. Macron turns to find out what’s happening, with his security men pressing closer to him to protect him. The person filming the incident then turns the camera around, with two security men holding an individual with his hands behind his back.
Macron appeared to be unfazed by the incident. “If he has something to tell me, let him come,” he said. “I’ll go see him afterwards. Go get him.”
The failed ‘egging’ occurred at the ongoing International Hotel, Catering and Food Trade Exhibition in Lyon. Macron was accompanied on the visit by several ministers. Ahead of the trip, Macron announced a new tax exemption for tips to restaurateurs paid by bank card. Some presenters at the trade fair thanked Macron for the assistance the government has doled out during the economic crisis that France’s hospitality sector has encountered as a result of tough Covid-related lockdowns and other restrictions over the past year-and-a-half.
Slap in the Face
Monday’s incident was the second attack on Macron in public this year. In June, the French president was slapped in the face during a tour of a village in the department of Drome, southeastern France. The man responsible was arrested and sentenced to four months in prison. The attacker in that incident, who characterised himself as a supporter of yellow vest protesters, told court that he considered throwing an egg or cream tart at the president, but ended up slapping him instead after being filled “with disgust” over his “lying look”.
The French will go to the polls for presidential elections in April 2022, with recent opinion polling showing Macron’s liberal centrist La Republique En Marche party running neck-and-neck with Marine Le Pen’s populist social conservative National Front.
Macron’s approval ratings began slipping in 2018 over economic austerity reforms, and have faltered further over his government’s controversial coronavirus ‘health pass’ initiative, introduced this summer and demanding mandatory COVID-19 passes showing proof of vaccination or PCR tests to visit cultural venues, sporting events and other public gatherings (with free tests set to become unavailable at public clinics). Parisians took to the streets of the French capital over the weekend for the eleventh straight week of protests against the draconian measures, with nearly 200 similar protests taking place nationwide.