Watch: From a tight slap to Macron to flying shoe at George W Bush — When world leaders were at the receiving end

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jun 09, 2021, 11:08 AM(IST)

World leaders who have been attacked by the public. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Take a look at some of the memorable occasions when world leaders faced a physical attack in public

When French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped across the face by an enraged protester, he joined a list of global leaders who suffered political outrage that turned into physical attacks.

Take a look at some of the leaders who have faced a physical attack in public.

US President George W Bush


During a visit to Baghdad in 2008, then US president George W Bush was pelted with shoes by an Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi. “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog,” he yelled in Arabic.

But the president swiftly ducked both shoes, which flew over his head.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

When former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited a school in Queensland in 2013, a youngster tossed Vegemite sandwiches at her.

School officials identified the culprit as 16-year-old Kyle Thomson.

French President Emmanuel Macron

On June 8 this year, the French president was attacked by an angry man in Tain-l'Hermitage while on a tour to "check the country's pulse" during the coronavirus pandemic.


The man began shouting, “À bas la Macronie!” or “Down with Macronia!” at Macron before he delivered a sharp slap across the leader’s left cheek.

Former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, was not so fortunate. When he was hit with a metal replica of Milan's cathedral after a demonstration in 2009. He lost half a litre of blood after the attack.

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro


Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right president of Brazil, was stabbed while campaigning for the 2018 election. The former army officer's rise to prominence was aided by widespread public support. While Bolsonaro healed swiftly, his assailant, who claimed to be "on a mission from God," was sent to a mental hospital.

Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl


After being pelted with eggs, tomatoes, and paint during a walkabout in Halle, eastern Germany in 1991, ex-German chancellor Helmut Kohl exchanged punches with demonstrators and had to be pushed back by his security guards.

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