Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Year : 1, Issue : 19
French President Emmanuel Macron appointed 34-year-old Education Minister Gabriel Attal as his new prime minister on Tuesday, seeking to breathe new life into his second mandate ahead of European parliament elections.
The move will not necessarily lead to any major political shift, but signals a desire for Macron to try to move beyond last year’s unpopular pension and immigration reforms and improve his centrist party’s chances in the June EU ballot.
Opinion polls show Macron’s camp trailing far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s party by around eight to ten percentage points.
Attal, a close Macron ally who became a household name as government spokesman during the COVID pandemic, will replace outgoing Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.
One of the country’s most popular politicians in recent opinion polls, Attal has made a name for himself as a savvy minister, at ease on radio shows and in parliament.
Attal will be France’s youngest prime minister and the first to be openly gay. He and Macron have a combined age just below that of Joe Biden.
“Instead, he risks taking the short-lived Education Minister with him in his fall”, said Jordan Bardella, the 28-year old leader of Le Pen’s National Rally party.