Macron promises French citizenship to ‘Spider-Man’ who saved child’s life

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) speaks with Mamoudou Gassama, 22, from Mali, at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, on May, 28, 2018. THIBAULT CAMUS—AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said that an immigrant from Mali will be offered citizenship after he scaled the outside of a Paris apartment building to save a 4-year-old boy.

Mamoudou Gassama within seconds climbed four stories to save the child, who was dangling from a balcony on Saturday, videos on social media show. He has since been nicknamed “Spider-Man.”

Macron later invited Gassama to meet with him at the Elysee Palace, where the French president promised him citizenship, awarded him a certificate and medal, and said Gassama would be offered a job as a fireman.

{mosads}Macron said the rescue was “an exceptional act, an act of heroism,” and told Gassama “we will start the process of naturalization so that you can become French.”

The French president also wrote on his official Facebook page Monday that he invited Gassama to apply for naturalization. “Because France is a will, and Mr. Gassama has demonstrated with commitment that he had it!” Macron wrote.

Gassama had arrived in Paris several months prior. He told Macron he tried to cross the Mediterranean in March 2014 to reach Italy, but was caught and sent back. He later successfully reached Italy before traveling to France.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have poured into Europe since 2015 amid wars in Libya and Syria and unrest in the Middle East and Africa. Since his election last year, Macron has taken a tough stance on immigration.

France in 2017 only offered citizenship to five people for exceptional talent or service to the community.

“We cannot give [citizenship] to all those who come from Mali, from Burkina. When they are in danger, we give asylum, but not for economic reasons,” the president told Gassama. “But in your case, you did something exceptional.”

Tags Emmanuel Macron France Mamoudou Gassama Naturalization Spider-Man

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