World Slap to Macron puts focus on ultra-right groups
Merkel and Macron demand in espionage affair Enlightenment
in the espionage affaires for interruptions of the US intelligence NSA In Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and France's President Emmanuel Macron reconnaissed by the US and Denmark. Spy between allies is "unacceptable," Macron said on Monday after the last Joint Council of Ministers with Merkel before the general election at the end of September. Germany and France awaited "complete openness and clarification of the facts of the Danish and American partners".
PARIS (AP) — Bubbling beneath France’s political landscape is an assortment of ultra-right groups, a subculture that shot to the nation’s attention when a young man slapped President Emmanuel Macron and blurted out a centuries-old royalist cry.
Ignored by most people, ultra-rightist groups are considered increasingly dangerous despite their small following and are on the radar of authorities. Numerous arrests have been made and several groups banned, including one this year. Challenges to the French identity are often at the center of their ideologies.
French leader Macron is slapped during visit to small town
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped Tuesday in the face by a man during a visit to a small town in southeast France. Macron’s office confirmed a video that is widely circulating online. The French president can be seen greeting the public waiting for him behind traffic barriers in the small town of Tain-l’Hermitage after he visited a high school that is training students to work in hotels and restaurants. The video shows aMacron’s office confirmed a video that is widely circulating online.
During Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, Macron discussed the incident a day earlier in a small town in the southeast Drome region. “No violence can be considered banal in the country,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said later. But Macron stressed it was ”an isolated act by a violent individual" that wouldn't stop his direct contact with the population.
The town of Tain-l’Hermitage was the president's most recent stop on a tour designed to “feel the pulse of the country” that's been laid low by the coronavirus and trying to get back on its feet.
Two people, the man who assaulted the president and a friend, were quickly arrested and still under questioning Wednesday. Neither the man identified in French media as the slapper, Damien Tarel, 28, nor his friend, identified only as Arthur C., had police records, the local prosecutor said.
Man held over Macron slap was medieval swordsmanship fan
Man held over Macron slap was medieval swordsmanship fanPARIS (Reuters) - The man alleged to have slapped French President Emmanuel Macron in the face ran a club for enthusiasts of medieval swordsmanship and had no previous criminal record, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Wednesday.
Tarel’s motives remained unclear, but it was his cry “Montjoie! Saint Denis!” as he slapped Macron’s cheek with his right hand, that pointed to the aggressor’s potential interest in the tiny royalist fringe movement. Social media posts showed he followed royalist TV channels and a smattering of extreme-right figures.
In 2018, the royalist call to arms dating to Medieval times was cried out by someone who threw a cream pie at the far-left lawmaker, Eric Coquerel. The extreme-right pro-monarchist group Action Francaise took responsibility. Action Francaise, born in the early 20th century, did not claim a role in Tuesday’s slapping incident, but hours later tweeted almost playfully, “Vive la tarte a Tain," a play on words combining the slang for “slap” (tarte), the French apple desert, tarte tatin, and Tain-l’Hermitage, where the incident occurred.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen was among political chiefs to quickly condemn the assault. Le Pen, a candidate in 2022 presidential elections, has spent years working to rid her National Rally party of extremist elements who gravitated around her father’s National Front party, which she renamed.
Man who slapped French President Macron to go on trial
VALENCE, France (AP) — A 28-year-old man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron will be tried on Thursday, facing possible jail time and a fine if found guilty of assaulting a public official. Damien Tarel was quickly arrested after the swipe Tuesday that caught Macron in the face with an audible thwack as the French leader was greeting a crowd in southeast France. Tarel told investigators that he struck without thinking, the prosecutor’s office said. He is due Thursday afternoon in court in Valence, in France's Rhone Valley.
Obscure to most of France, ultra-right movements are a priority on the radar of investigators.
A probe into an alleged plot uncovered in 2018 against Macron by a mini-group whose members were scattered around France is still in progress. The group, known as Les Barjols, was ordered disbanded.
Mediapart, an online investigative outlet, reported last month that investigators are on alert for the eventual return of ultra-right terrorists. It cited a confidential report from the prosecutor’s office detailing the professionalism and ability to obtain weapons by some groups. It said 17 deaths can be attributed to the ultra-right between 2016-2019, and quoted investigators as counting about 1,000 militants and 2,000 followers of the ultra-right.
In March, France banned Generation Identity, citing its ideology “inciting hate, violence or discrimination of individuals ... based on origins, race or religion.” The organization was known for spectacular actions to get out its anti-migrant message in what it claimed was a mission to preserve French and European civilization.
The profile emerging on social media of the man arrested for Tuesday's slap showed an interest in medieval combat and martial arts, confirmed by a friend in an interview on BFMTV. The friend, identified only as Loic, said he was “stunned” by the slap. In October 2018, Tarel put out a call on a social media platform for funds for an association of Medieval martial arts in his hometown, Saint-Vallier, with a population of under 4,000.
Four hours before Tuesday's assault, a TV news show, Le Quotidien, broadcast a brief clip of Tarel and two friends waiting to see Macron. Neither Tarel nor the man detained with him spoke, but the third person said: “There are things that should be said, but unfortunately cannot be said.”
Among the issues, he said, was “the decline of France.”
Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed.
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