The great-nephew of French First Lady Brigitte Macron, who runs the family’s main chocolate shop, has been beaten up in an apparent politically motivated assault, police and family sources said on Tuesday.
Jean-Baptiste Trogneux was set upon by anti-government protesters on Monday evening outside the famed Trogneux chocolate shop in Amiens, northern France, his father said.
The 30-year-old was hit repeatedly on the head, arms and legs by his aggressors, who insulted ‘the president, his wife and our family’ before running away, his father Jean-Alexandre Trogneux declared.
Jean-Baptiste Trogneux was set upon by anti-government protesters on Monday evening outside the famed Trogneux chocolate shop in Amiens, northern France , his father said
‘They’ve crossed the line. I’m flabbergasted,’ he added, saying his son was being checked by a doctor and was awaiting the results of a brain scan.
Local police said they had arrested eight people after the attack, which took place shortly after President Macron had appeared for an interview on the country’s main TV news programme at 8:00pm (1800 GMT) on Monday evening.
The six men and two women remained in custody on Tuesday, and face charges of assault occasionally actual bodily harm, and gang violence, said a local police source.
(FILES) This photograph taken on April 25, 2017, shows a general view of the Jean Trogneux chocolate shop in Amiens, northern France, which is owned by the family of Brigitte Macron, wife of the French President. Jean-Baptiste Trogneux was savagely beaten outside the shop
French President Emmanuel Macron walks with his wife Brigitte Macron
Jean-Alexandre Trogneux said: ‘About forty demonstrators were there, after the president’s speech on TF1.
‘Around a dozen of them recognised him and attacked. They beat him up, with a lot of blows to the face.
‘He was hit continually, as he rolled on the ground, trying to defend himself, while they shouted out insults against the president and his wife. Neighbours intervened and then they ran away.
‘He now has trauma and has to have a brain scan. There has been an association between our business and Emmanuel Macron since his election, and this has caused huge problems.
‘What has now happened has gone too far, and I am scared. There is no financial link between the Trogenux chocolate business, and the presidential couple, and yet we are targeted.’
Brigitte Macron’s family have run the Jean Trogneux chocolate shop in the centre of her home city of Amiens for six generations, specialising in a sugary local almond-based treat known as the Amiens Macaron.
She met her husband while he was a pupil and she was a teacher at a private school in the city in the 1990s.
The Trogneux family business, which has since expanded around northern France, has been repeatedly targeted by protesters during Macron’s six years in power amid rumours – repeatedly denied – that the first family have a financial interest in the company.
Brigitte Macron met her husband while he was a pupil and she was a teacher at a private school in the city in the 1990s
Macron has sparked the biggest demonstrations in a generation over reforms to the pension system, which include raising the retirement age to rise to 64 from 62 later this year. He pushed the measures through without a parliamentary vote – causing outrage across the country.
During protests in April, a fire was started at one of his favorite restaurants in Paris, the upmarket La Rotonde brasserie.
But this is the first time that family members have been targeted.
Both Mr Macron, 45, and Mrs Macron, 70, were born and brought up in Amiens, capital of the Somme department.
She was a married mother of three when she began a relationship with the then schoolboy Emmanuel Macron.
The unrest during protests in recent years, as well as attacks on the offices of local and national lawmakers, have sparked debate about whether the country is growing more intolerant and prone to violence.
The mayor of a village in western France announced his resignation last week after a suspected arson attack on his home, causing an outcry among fellow politicians.
Yannick Morez from the village of Saint Brevin had been repeatedly targeted by far-right activists over his support for a local centre for refugees.
Interior ministry statistics showed that reported acts of physical or verbal violence against lawmakers increased by 32 percent year-on-year in 2022, when the country held parliamentary and presidential elections.