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With the appointment of a young new prime minister, the French president is trying to breathe new life into his second five-year term, marked by the adoption of controversial reforms. /p>

Analysis | Gabriel Attal, the young recruit whose mission is to relaunch the mandate of Emmanuel Macron

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Gabriel Attal visited flood-affected areas in northern France shortly after his appointment as Prime Minister.

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While the expression is often used, this time it seems appropriate. It was a real change of guard witnessed by the French in front of the Matignon square, the residence of the prime ministers.

At 34, Gabriel Attal became the youngest prime minister of the Fifth Republic, taking the place of 62-year-old Élisabeth Borne. The one who was the second woman to occupy the position had resigned the day before, making it clear that it was her boss, President Emmanuel Macron, who had pushed her out.

Emmanuel Macron is therefore banking on this close collaborator to breathe new life into a second term, notably marked by controversial reforms. On the X network, the head of state confirmed that he was banking on the young politician to implement a regeneration project.

It must be said that Gabriel Attal has a popularity that the president could dream of today. A poll by the IFOP firm, published in November, showed that he was the second political figure with the most favorable opinions at 51%, a few points behind former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.

This former government spokesperson, a skillful communicator by the admission of some of his adversaries, has established himself in recent months on the French political scene. At the head of the complex Ministry of National Education, Gabriel Attal did not hesitate to tackle sensitive issues.

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Gabriel Attal and former Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, at the time of the transfer of power, in Paris, Tuesday.

In September, he confirmed a school ban on the wearing of the abaya, a long dress worn by some Muslim women. This decision, which has attracted criticism particularly from the left, nevertheless receives the support of more than 80% of French people, according to an IFOP survey published shortly after the start of the school year, in September.

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At the head of the Ministry of Education, Gabriel Attal also attached great importance to the issue of school harassment, going so far as to demand a disciplinary procedure against the former director of an establishment where a harassed student took his own life.

But this move to Education, highlighted by several observers and political allies, does not only attract him praise.

Real age of Gabriel Attal: 34 years […] The perceived age is 80 years, for example launched the environmentalist deputy Benjamin Lucas, recalling that the new head of government was in favor of wearing uniforms at school and a form of budgetary austerity, ideas that he describes as out of date.

One thing is certain, the arrival of this new tenant at Matignon, the official residence of the prime ministers, will not be without challenges.

Popularity of Gabriel Attal among public opinion does not change anything in the composition of the National Assembly, which remains unchanged. Like Élisabeth Borne before him, the new prime minister will therefore have to try to impose the president's priorities without an absolute majority.

Unlike his predecessor, the new head of government seems more interested in the political contest. He is in ultra mastery of the codes. He is in his comfort zone in political life, former minister Marlène Shiappa said on Franceinfo.

An advantage which could perhaps help forge the necessary alliances to pass bills, a task that nevertheless promises to be difficult.

The left-wing parties, from which Gabriel Attal comes, who was deputy to a socialist minister under François Hollande, do not hide their skepticism about the change at the head of the government. On the right, the Les Républicains party, often courted by Emmanuel Macron, has not proven to be as reliable an ally as the president would have liked.

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French President Emmanuel Macron (Archive photo)

The advantage enjoyed by Gabriel Attal is that the controversial pension and immigration reforms are a thing of the past. Nevertheless, in this Olympic year, the work of the government will be scrutinized, and even beyond the borders of France. Then, certain sensitive issues, such as medical assistance in dying, could also be included in the legislative priorities.

Another factor that does not change: the Prime Minister has limited power, to the extent that the major decisions come from above, from the Élysée. If Élisabeth Borne was the face in the National Assembly of the imposition, sometimes even without a vote, of controversial reforms, she was only implementing the mission that the president had entrusted to her.

Thus, even if he wants to leave his mark on the office, Gabriel Attal is destined to be closely linked to the policies of a president who is largely more unpopular than him, according to the polls.

France is a house that is dilapidated, we need to change the foundations and today we are debating whether we should redo the paint in magenta or cyan blue, said MP Louis Boyard, of the France Party, for example. rebellious on a television set.

Even before judging the impact of his nomination on his political ambitions, in the event that he decides to run for the 2027 presidential elections, Gabriel Attal will be faced with a first electoral meeting in a few months.

In June, citizens of European Union member countries will be called to the polls to renew the composition of the European Parliament. If Gabriel Attal will not himself be directly confronted with the choice of voters, President Macron's list, the Renaissance party, will be. And the latest polls show that Marine Le Pen's National Rally, whose president Jordan Bardella is even younger than Gabriel Attal, also has great popularity.

The new prime minister, the fourth to occupy this position since Emmanuel Macron's first victory in 2017, therefore has only a few months to restore vigor to the president's five-year term. A few months to convince voters that this change of guard is not just a facade covering in Matignon.

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