President Macron has made a criminal complaint against a news photographer who is accused of hounding him and his wife, Brigitte, on their holiday in a villa overlooking Marseilles.
The photographer is one of a pack who have been attempting to follow the French president and Mrs Macron since they arrived on Friday at the residence of the regional state prefect in the secluded Parc Talabot.
The professional photographer, who has not been named, said that he had been arrested, held for hours in a cell and treated like a common criminal.
“I am shocked and outraged,” he told VSD magazine. “It gives the impression that the president is going to war with the press.”
Such legal action for “harassment and invasion of privacy” is rarely taken by French presidents.
Mr Macron’s use of the law reflects the tight restrictions that he has imposed on media access after the more relaxed practices of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, his predecessors.
Mr Macron, who marked 100 days in office yesterday, had refused to say where he was going on holiday and has been trying to stop the publication of pictures taken outside the villa.
The couple have threatened legal action against magazines that publish unauthorised pictures but have posed for Paris Match in an arrangement to give them flattering exposure.
The presidency said that the photographer had intruded on the Macrons and ignored warnings. A spokeswoman said: “On Sunday he entered the property, which led to a complaint being lodged.” Police said he was detained at the entrance of the villa grounds.