eye Gabriel AttalOn Tuesday, he became head of the French government, thus becoming the youngest prime minister in the history of the Republic and the first openly gay person to hold this position, within the framework of a ministerial reshuffle that is supposed to give new impetus to his mandate. Emmanuel Macron the second.
The Elysee announced – in a statement – that Macron assigned Education Minister Gabriel Attal (34 years old), who enjoys great popularity, to form the government the day after Elisabeth Borne resigned, 20 months after she took office.
The appointment of the new prime minister was postponed from Monday evening until Tuesday morning, which raised speculation about the presence of internal opposition, especially from important figures in the government such as Gerald Darmanin and Bruno Le Maire, but they denied this.
The move will not necessarily lead to any major policy shift, but it indicates Macron's desire to try to move beyond last year's unpopular pension and immigration reforms and improve his centrist party's chances in June's EU elections.
Attal, a close ally of Macron who has become a household name as a government spokesman during the Covid-19 pandemic, will replace resigned Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.
Borne, who has been prime minister since May 2022, succeeded in passing difficult laws such as amending retirement systems, a law that sparked great dissatisfaction last spring, as well as a controversial law on immigration in December. It escaped about 30 no-confidence motions.
Atal is considered one of the country's most popular politicians in recent opinion polls, and has made a name for himself as an intelligent minister and an articulate speaker on radio programs and in Parliament.
A month after his promotion as Minister of Education in 2023, he issued a decision on August 27 banning the wearing of abayas and long shirts in schools, which sparked controversy and exposed him to criticism from human rights organizations and opposition political movements.
Macron, who announced at the end of last year that he would announce new political initiatives, said: “Dear Gabriel Attal, I know that I can count on your energy and commitment to implementing the revitalization and renewal project that you announced.”
The slogan of the next prime minister's term will be “rearmament”, which Macron called for in his New Year message, referring to “industrial, economic and European rearmament” as well as “civilian”, especially around the school system reform project that Gabriel Attal has been undertaking since the summer.
Opposition leaders were quick to say they did not expect much from the change in the position of prime minister, with Macron himself handling much of the decision-making.