Nicolas Sarkozy was forced to hide in a bar after a mob of protesters threatened to beat him up.
The 57-year-old French President, who is standing for re-election in April, was campaigning in the Basque country, in the south west.
Eggs and stones were thrown at the 5ft 5in head of state who at one stage looked as though he would disappear under a crowd of people in the city of Bayonne.
His security staff instead ushered him into a bar, where the tee-total President had to drink coffee for more than hour while riot police dispersed the protesters.
'The protesters said they wanted to beat him up – they said they wanted him to resign,' said an eye-witness. He looked very concerned indeed. Sarkozy is used to angry crowds, but this one was very threatening.' More + photos...