Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Gabriel Attal appointed Prime Minister of France

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Formerly Minister of Education and Youth, Gabriel Attal succeeds Élisabeth Borne as Prime Minister of France.

Agence France-Presse

The popular Minister of Education Gabriel Attal became on Tuesday at the age of 34 the youngest head of government in the history of the French Republic, the first openly homosexual as well, following the end of 2018. a ministerial reshuffle intended to breathe new life into Emmanuel Macron's presidency.

First hoped for on Monday evening, this appointment, made official by the Élysée, took very long hours to take place. A delay which fueled speculation about possible internal resistance, notably from government heavyweights Gérald Darmanin (Interior) and Bruno Le Maire (Economy), denied by those concerned.

Three years before the end of his second term, the head of state finds himself in a delicate situation faced with the continued breakthrough of the extreme right in the country and in it. x27;absence of absolute majority in the National Assembly.

Since his re-election in 2022, Macron has also faced growing discontent which manifested itself during the adoption of the pension reform, and more recently of a very controversial law on immigration.

Described as a good student, or even as the best incarnation of Macronist DNA, Gabriel Attal, who entered the government in 2017 and who experienced a spectacular rise, finally imposed himself to everyone's surprise to succeed Élisabeth Terminal in Matignon, after the resignation of the latter Monday late afternoon.

A Macronist from the start, the new prime minister, who makes no secret of his homosexuality, had become the most popular figure in the government and the majority, convincing one in two French people, while more than a third of #x27;among them called for his appointment to Matignon in a recent study.

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He thus wins over two personalities presented in recent days as the favorites: the technocrat and former Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie, 43, in the shadow of the president for 10 years, and Sébastien Lecornu , 37 years old, current Minister of the Armed Forces from the right.

In France, the president sets in principle the main orientations of the five-year term, while his first minister, responsible for the implementation of the program and the daily management of the government, generally pays the price in the event of turbulence.

After days of suspense and persistent rumors of an imminent departure, Élisabeth Borne, 62, finally had to leave her post. A starter several times during her 20 months at Matignon, she demonstrated her resilience by succeeding in passing difficult laws and overcoming nearly thirty motions of censure in the Assembly.

The choice of his successor is far from being neutral in maintaining the precarious balance of the presidential camp, recently undermined by divisions over immigration law. If the boss of the deputies of the ruling Renaissance party, Sylvain Maillard, assured on the LCI channel that his troops will work in complete loyalty with the next prime minister, behind the scenes, many fear a new shift to the right.

After two mandates, Emmanuel Macron will not be able to run again in 2027 and a crucial issue will be to prevent the figurehead of the far right, Marine Le Pen, from accessing the presidency. p>

For the constitutionalist Benjamin Morel, the choice of this personality also symbolizes a very offensive strategy in view of the European elections in June, where the extreme right is winning data in France.

Gabriel Attal embodies youth, ambition, it evokes a little in the background the Macron of the departure, a code breaker, according to the political scientist Bruno Cautres, even if his appointment will not solve the problem of the majority, nor that of the main milestone of the mandate.

During his time at the Ministry of the Budget, Gabriel Attal's media ease allowed him to being one of the rare ministers sent to the front line to defend the unpopular pension reform.

At the head of the prestigious portfolio of National Education since July 2023, the young, omnipresent minister saturates the media space and appeals to older populations who constitute the heart of the Macronist electorate with its positions in favor of the uniform or the ban on the abaya at school.

Gabriel Attal is the fourth prime minister appointed since 2017 under the Macron presidency, regularly accused by his detractors of concentrating powers and engaging in micro-management.

Attal returns to his position as government spokesperson, a position he also held during Emmanuel Macron's first five-year term, quipped Jean-Luc Mélenchon , the leader of the radical left, on X. The function of prime minister disappears. The presidential monarch governs alone with his court, he denounced.

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