French law enforcement have taken into custody a 20-year-old activist suspected of plotting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron on April 27, 2023 during the leader’s visit to the eastern Doubs department to mark the 175th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in France.
Media outlets had learned in advance about the event with the participation of the French leader, and opponents of his policies, in particular the pension reform, gathered at the site and tried to break through the cordon, forcing the police to use tear gas.
The suspect threw a smoke bomb into the presidential helicopter as Macron left the site, newspaper reported. The attacker was arrested at his home and charged with attempting to destroy a gendarme helicopter, an attack on security services and the president.
The detainee did not deny the incident and said that he wanted to express protest against the controversial pension reform that had caused public disagreement and sparked riots across France. The man is yet to undergo a psychiatric examination.
On April 14, the French Constitutional Council approved the key article of the controversial pension reform bill, which will gradually raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 by 2030.
The reform has sparked a strong backlash, with people taking to the streets across the country.
More than a dozen nationwide demonstrations against the reform have already taken place, with several union-organized protests attracting over 1 million supporters across France.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.