Man who slapped Macron convicted

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Damien Tarel, the man who slapped the French President, Emmanuel Macron, has been sentenced by a southern France court in Valence, to 18 months imprisonment.

Tarel, a 28-year-old medieval history enthusiast, told the court that he acted because the President stood for all that was rotten with France.

The convicted Tarel hit Macron when the President came over to greet a small crowd of onlookers after visiting a vocational college during a trip to take the pulse of the country as it emerges from the pandemic and ahead of presidential elections in 2022.

Macron reached out to Tarel who was standing behind a security barrier, Tarel then shouted “Down with Macronia” (“A Bas La Macronie”) and slapped Macron on the left side of his face.

Tarel told police investigators that he had been close to the anti-government “yellow vest” protest movement which shook the Macron presidency, and held ultra-right wing political beliefs.

He said that several days ahead of Macron’s visit to the Drome region of southern France, he had thought about throwing an egg or a cream tart at the president, but added the slap was not premeditated, an action prosecutor described as “absolutely unacceptable” and “an act of deliberate violence”.

“I think that Macron represents very neatly the decay of our country. If I had challenged Macron to a duel at sunrise, I doubt he would have responded,” Tarel had said.

Macron described the attack as an isolated incident and said violence and hate were a threat to democracy. His office did not respond to a request for comment on Tarel’s courtroom remarks.

Emmanuel Macron

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