27 April 2022

Fruity near-miss for Macron as re-elected French president targeted by tomatoes

27 April 2022

Newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron narrowly avoided being pelted by what looked like a small sackful of cherry tomatoes as he waded through a boisterous and packed crowd in a market north-west of Paris.

About six of the small fruits, some orange, some red, contained in what looked like a blue plastic bag, flew over the head of the French leader and bounced off the shoulder and arm of two men beside him, according to broadcaster BFM-TV’s video.

Mr Macron himself seemed oblivious of the near-miss until someone in the crowd shouted “projectile” and bodyguards raised arms over the president’s head to cover him.

Someone then unfurled a black umbrella to shield Mr Macron, and his security detail steered him to cover under a nearby market stall parasol.

Emmanuel Macron is protected with an umbrella after a projectile was thrown during a walkabout at the Saint-Christophe market square in Cergy, a Paris suburb (Benoit Tessier, Pool via AP) (AP)

The president sheltered there for a few moments until things calmed down.

Another snippet of video, shot from a different angle, showed that just after the tomatoes were thrown, a bystander clambered on to a table or something else and from that height hurled himself backwards in the direction of the gaggle of people around Mr Macron.

The man appeared to throw a wayward punch as he flew through the air.

There were screams as he landed hard on the crowd and fell to the floor.

Mr Macron, ostensibly unharmed and unperturbed, then happily continued his walkabout in Cergy-Pontoise, mingling and talking to people at the market.

He told reporters he visited the working-class neighbourhood as part of his previously stated pledge to unite France after the bruising presidential campaign.

The 44-year-old comfortably beat far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the election run-off on Sunday.

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