French First Lady Brigitte Macron issued a rare statement on Tuesday condemning the physical assault of her great-nephew during a demonstration against her husband’s pension reform.
Police said eight people had been arrested in the northern French city of Amiens on Monday night in connection with the assault on Jean-Baptiste Trogneux, 30, the family owner of a chocolate shop.
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Brigitte Macron condemned the assault as “cowardice, stupidity and violence”.
“I am in complete solidarity with my family and have been in constant contact since 11pm yesterday,” she said. “Sometimes I have condemned this kind of violence that only leads to the worst.”
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Troneux was reportedly heading to an apartment above a chocolate shop when he was attacked. His father, Jean-Alexandre Trogneux, said the attackers insulted “the president, his wife and our family” before fleeing.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech in Iceland that the violence was “unacceptable and shocking to everyone”.
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The president said Monday night on French television network TF1 that he would continue with his unpopular pension reforms, raising the retirement age from 62 to 64. The change was the focus of months of anti-government protests.