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France's Macron accuses photographer of harassment while on holiday

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron has filed a legal complaint against a photographer alleging harassment and invasion of privacy while on vacation in the southern French city of Marseille, a source in the president's entourage said.

Macron and his wife Brigitte are staying in the private residence of the prefect of Marseille, French media have reported, which overlooks the Mediterranean and is shielded from the public eye by a high wall dotted with security cameras.

"A photographer followed him on several occasions ... and there was an intrusion on the property, which led to the complaint for harassment and invasion of privacy being made," the presidency source told Reuters.

The presidential couple had kept their holiday destination a closely guarded secret, but the location was revealed by the weekly Journal du Dimanche over the weekend.

Macron's preference for staying silent over his holiday plans and avoiding the media in Marseille echoes his leadership style during his first 100 days in power.

The 39-year-old has exerted tight control over Elysee communications and sharply reduced his interactions with journalists compared to some previous presidents.

Macron's immediate predecessor, Francois Hollande, who wanted to be seen as a "normal president" and held regular off-record media briefings, took the train to the Cote d'Azur on his first summer holiday as head of state, and invited the media to join him on walkabouts.

A police official in Marseille declined to comment on the legal complaint.

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Cyril Camu; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Gareth Jones)