In a surprising turn of events, France has witnessed a significant political shakeup as the 34-year-old Gabriel Attal assumes the role of Prime Minister, marking a historic moment as the youngest prime minister in recent French history. Attal, a rising star within Emmanuel Macron’s party, replaces Elizabeth Bourne, who resigned after almost two years in office. This move is part of Macron’s broader strategy to bring fresh momentum to the remaining three years of his presidency, which has been marked by controversy over issues such as pensions and immigration.
Who is Gabriel Attal
Gabriel Attal, often hailed as the “Wonder Kid” of Macron’s party, initially gained prominence as the Junior Minister for Education before becoming the government’s spokesperson and later the Budget Minister. In the last six months, he served as the Education Minister, showcasing his ascent through the ranks. Notably, Attal is the first openly gay prime minister in France, a detail that resonates positively with the French public. His popularity, evident in polls, suggests that he is among the people’s favourite politicians.
A Strategic Choice
Macron’s decision to appoint Attal as Prime Minister is a strategic one, departing from his previous choices of relatively unknown figures. Attal’s higher profile and popularity among the public may inject new energy into Macron’s presidency. Unlike his predecessors, Attal possesses a distinct charisma that Macron hopes will resonate with the people. Notably, Macron seems unafraid to make progressive choices, having appointed a woman as prime minister before and now an openly gay individual.
While Attal’s appointment brings a breath of fresh air, he faces substantial challenges, notably a relative majority in the National Assembly. This obstacle, which hindered Bourne’s effectiveness, is unlikely to change with Attal. The absence of a coalition with the opposition suggests that passing bills through Parliament will remain a formidable task. Nevertheless, Macron seems to be betting on Attal’s ability to connect with the public and navigate these challenges.
Gabriel Attal’s ascent to the position of Prime Minister is a significant development in French politics, marked by youth, openness, and a departure from conventional choices. As he steps into this role, all eyes will be on how he navigates the challenges ahead and whether he can bring the much-needed momentum to the latter part of Macron’s presidency. The appointment of an openly gay prime minister also marks a progressive step for France, reflecting changing times and a political landscape that embraces diversity.