French President appoints 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as new Prime Minister

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French President appoints 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as new Prime Minister

French President Emmanuel Macron has just appointed 34-year-old Education Minister Gabriel Attal as France’s new Prime Minister on Tuesday.

This move is aimed at Macron’s second term ahead of the European Parliament elections.

Although the appointment does not imply a major political shift, it signifies Macron’s intent to move beyond last year’s unpopular pension and immigration reforms, aiming to enhance his centrist party’s prospects in the upcoming EU ballot in June.

Opinion polls indicate Macron’s camp is trailing the far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s party by approximately eight to 10 percentage points.

Attal, a close ally of Macron, gained prominence as the government spokesman during the COVID pandemic. He is set to replace the outgoing Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

Attal, among the country’s most popular politicians in recent polls, has earned a reputation as a skilled minister comfortable in various media formats.

Macron, concluding 2023, had previously announced his intention to unveil new political initiatives.

What Macron said

In his message to Attal, Macron said,

  • “I know I can count on your energy and your commitment to implement the project of revitalization and regeneration that I announced”.

Attal will be France’s youngest Prime Minister and the first to be openly gay. Also, he and Macron have a combined age just below that of Joe Biden, who is running for a second mandate in this year’s U.S. presidential election.

Macron has struggled to deal with a more turbulent parliament since losing his absolute majority shortly after being re-elected in 2022.

About Gabriel Attal

Gabriel Attal, born on March 16, 1989, is a French politician affiliated with the Renaissance Party, currently serving as Prime Minister since January 9, 2024. He has a diverse background, studied law, and engaged in political activism from a young age.

Attal’s career includes roles such as advisor to the Minister of Health and Member of the French National Assembly. Notably, he became the spokesperson for La République En Marche! in 2018 and later held ministerial positions.

On October 16, 2018, at 29, Attal became the youngest member of a government in the Fifth Republic as Secrétaire d’État.

He later served as Minister of Public Action and Accounts and Minister of National Education and Youth.

Following Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne’s resignation, Attal, at 34, assumed the role of France’s youngest and first openly gay leader on January 9, 2024.

Despite his political success, Attal has faced online hate speech due to his identity, including antisemitic and homophobic attacks.

[Nairametrics]

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