French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned an attack on his wife’s great-nephew as “unspeakable”. Police said eight people were arrested in the northern French city Amiens in connection with the Monday night assault on Jean-Baptiste Trogneux, 30, who runs a family chocolate shop.
Trogneux was reportedly heading to his apartment above the chocolate shop when he was attacked.
His father, Jean-Alexandre Trogneux, said the assailants insulted “the president, his wife and our family” before making an escape.
While giving a speech in Iceland, President Emmanuel Macron called the violence “unacceptable” and said “it shocks everyone”.
He added: “I consider these acts as absolutely unacceptable and as president of France they are unspeakable.”
Macron vowed to continue with unpopular pension reforms that would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 during an interview on Monday evening with French TV network TF1.
The change was the focus of months of antigovernment protests.
Brigitte Macron called out the assault’s “cowardice, stupidity and violence”.
She said: “I am in full solidarity with my family and have been in touch constantly since 11pm yesterday.
“I have on several occasions denounced this kind of violence that can only lead to the worst.”
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According to Jean-Alexandre Trogneux, the victim’s father, six men and two women were involved.
The man said his son was recognised and attacked by a group who were taking part in a demonstration in the centre of Amiens after Emmanuel Macron’s interview on the TF1 8pm news.
The attackers hit him in the head, arms and legs, cursing “the president, his wife and our family”, before fleeing when three neighbours intervened, he described to AFP. Jean-Baptiste Trogneux was on Tuesday morning “under observation pending a scan”, his father said.
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With this attack, he said: “we have gone too far, I am appalled”.
He deplored the fact that despite the absence of “any financial link” between the Trogneux chocolate factory and the presidential couple, the establishments of this brand in the Hauts-de-France region have been regularly targeted on the fringes of demonstrations since the head of state came to power.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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