Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, was punched in the face by a teenager while meeting the public in his home region of Galicia, northwestern Spain. Rajoy was attending a campaign event for Sunday's (20 December) general election when he was attacked by the teenager, leaving a visible red mark on his face and sending his glasses into the air.
The 60-year-old, who has been the prime minister of Spain since 2011 and leader of the People's Party (PP) since 2004, was making the rounds to drum up support for the country's crucial elections. A spokesman for the prime minister said he was unhurt by the blow.
The teenager – a minor – was quickly apprehended by bodyguards and arrested by police, with some cheering "bravo, bravo" whilst others cheered "president, president". The attack took place as Rojoy was taking selfies with supporters. Rajoy told El Pais: "I'm fine, great, no problem."
The man who attacked the Spanish leader is under police investigation and according to local media, he may be linked to a Galician independence movement. He was also said to have declared: "I'm glad I did it," before his arrest.
Political rival and leader of Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), Pedro Sanchez posted on Twitter: "I condemn the intolerable aggression suffered by Mariano Rajoy. Violence is never justified". Rajoy's ruling PP is expected to win Sunday's election despite Spain experiencing one of the worst economic slumps in decades.