On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron officially appointed Gabriel Attal, who is 34 years old and serves as the Education Minister, to the position of Prime Minister. Macron’s intention was to infuse his second mandate with new vigor in advance of the elections for the European Parliament.
The first openly gay prime minister in French history, Attal is also the youngest prime minister in French history.
His nomination will not necessarily result in any significant political movement; however, it is indicative of Macron’s determination to move beyond the unpopular reforms that were implemented in the pension and immigration systems the previous year and to strengthen the chances of his centrist party in the EU election that will take place in June.
“Dear @GabrielAttal, I know I can count on your energy and your commitment to implement the project of revitalisation and regeneration that I announced,” Macron wrote on social media site X, which was once known as Twitter. Twitter was formerly known as Twitter.
— Gouvernement (@gouvernementFR) January 9, 2024
Macron has struggled to push through a second-term reform agenda that has moved to the right. He is attempting to build up support among conservative voters in order to fight the growing popularity of the far right.
Macron recently lost his working majority in parliament, which has made it difficult for him to do so.
In opinion polls, the party that is currently in power is trailing the party that is led by Marine Le Pen, who is a far-right leader, by approximately eight to ten percentage points.
Both Macron, who is 46 years old, and Attal have a combined age that is somewhat lower than that of Joe Biden, who is running for a second term as president of the United States of America in this year’s election.
In recent months, Attal has been ranked as one of the most popular politicians in France, according to polls.
As the government spokesman during the COVID pandemic, he became a household figure in French politics and developed a reputation for being a good speaker. He was a loyalist of Macron.
CONTINUITY OR CHANGE?
Elisabeth Borne, who was 62 years old, has been replaced by Attal, who is only the second woman to hold the role in France.
Her year and a half in government was marked by months of protests over a pension change and rioting over the police shooting of a teenager of north African heritage. She was a technocrat who was both obedient and hard-working.
The selection of a new administration by Macron and Attal might take several days on average. An adviser to the Elysee stated that the typical cabinet meeting that takes place on Wednesdays is not likely to take place this week.
In the most recent weeks, Macron, who has been struggling to deal with a more tumultuous parliament ever since he was reelected in 2022, had signaled that it was time for change.
On the other hand, his adversaries and those who voted for him were skeptical.
“By appointing Gabriel Attal… Emmanuel Macron wants to cling to his popularity in opinion polls to alleviate the pain of an interminable end to his reign,” said Jordan Bardella, the 28-year-old leader of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party. Bardella is the leader of the National Rally party.
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Sophie Varillon, a Parisian, stated that Macron was the one who made the decisions in French politics. What are the implications of the reorganization for us? To speak for myself, not much,” she continued.
On the other hand, a member of parliament named Patrick Vignal, who is a member of Macron’s Renaissance party, stated that Attal is “a bit like the Macron of 2017.” He was referring to the year that the President of France initially took office as the youngest leader in the history of modern France, and at the time, he was a popular figure among voters.