The police had to repel around 40 Yellow Vests as they attempted to storm the medieval fort of Bregancon that has served as a summer retreat for French presidents since 1968, AFP is reporting.
The mayor of nearby Bormes-les-Mimosas, Francois Arizzi, told the French news agency that the protesters attempted the daring raid on Thursday and indicated that they will repeat it on Friday.
“It’s madness. For people who want more democracy, they should start by respecting other people’s property,” Arizzi said, adding that many of the protesters crossed private land during their bid to infiltrate the fort.
It’s not known whether the president is actually in the residence. In theory, it is unoccupied but the presidency has refused to disclose where Macron and his wife Brigitte are spending Christmas.
Reports in French media claim Macron canceled a planned skiing trip in the Pyrenees, not far from where his grandmother lived while he was growing up.
Bregancon was previously the source of unwanted attention for the French president after it emerged he was installing a €34,000 euro ($39,000) swimming pool at the coastal fort, which comes equipped with a private beach.
The Yellow Vest protests, which kicked off in mid-November, have polarized French society. The movement began as rallies against fuel-price hikes, but it soon morphed into nationwide rallies against government policies. Authorities have since abandoned the fuel hikes plans, but people have continued to demand more concessions, including lower taxes and even Macron’s resignation.