Macron's anger after family member attacked in northern France

France’s president said Jean-Baptiste Trogneux was beaten by protesters in Amiens because he was a relation of Brigitte Macron

A member of the President’s family was attacked in Amiens Monday night
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Eight people have been arrested over an alleged attack on the great-nephew of France’s first lady Brigitte Macron.

The incident is reported to have happened during a protest in Amiens on Monday (May 15) evening.

It came after an interview with France president Emmanuel Macron was aired on French television channel TF1.

Mr Macron, arriving at a summit in Reykjavik, called the attack on Jean-Baptiste Trogneux “unacceptable” and “unspeakable”.

“He was attacked because he is our great nephew,” he continued. “Violence has no place in a democracy, whatever it is, and particularly not in ours”.

What do we know about the alleged attack?

Mr Trogneux, who runs a well-known chocolate shop in Amiens, was reportedly attacked by several people that were taking part in a ‘casserolade’, a saucepan-banging protest over the French government’s controversial pension reforms.

The attackers hit the 30-year-old on the head, arms and legs.

Jean-Alexandre Trogneux, the father of Jean-Baptiste, told AFP news agency they insulted "the president, his wife and our family" before fleeing when three neighbours intervened.

A source told FranceInfo that eight people - including a 16-year-old girl and seven men aged under 35 years - were later arrested.

Read also: What are the origins of France’s saucepan-banging protests?

What has been the reaction?

Brigitte Macron criticised "the cowardice, stupidity and violence" of the attackers.

“I am in total solidarity with my family and in constant contact with Jean-Baptiste and Jean-Alexandre,” she said. "I have on several occasions denounced this violence which can only lead to the worst."

Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have denounced the attack and sent support.

Rémi Cardon, a socialist senator from the Somme department, said on Twitter he sent “support to the Trogneux family and in particular to Jean-Baptiste, our political differences must never lead to physical violence”.

François Ruffin, an MP for the Somme (Hauts-de-France region) from Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s far-left La France Insoumise party, said: “We do not defend democracy by attacking a chocolate shop”.

“I met the Trogneux family during a ‘yellow vest’ protest, to assure them that the hostility against their shop made no sense,” he added, referencing the attacks on the shop since Mr Macron’s election in 2017.

Laure Lavalette, an MP from the far-right Rassemblement national party, said: “This unbearable violence must be condemned by the justice system with exemplary firmness. No fight will ever justify such savagery. Support to Jean-Baptiste Trogneux and his family”.

Éric Ciotti, head of the right-wing Les Républicains said: “Yes to democratic debate, no to violence and terror.”

“All my support to Jean-Baptiste Trogneux,” he added.

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