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France Prime Minister Gabriel Attal | Credits: Getty Images
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Breaking Barriers: Gabriel Attal shatters norms as France’s bold and openly gay PM!

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron named 34-year-old Education Minister Gabriel Attal as his new prime minister, hoping to breathe new life into his second mandate ahead of the European Parliament elections.

The decision will not necessarily result in a huge political shift, but it does show Macron’s desire to move beyond last year’s unpopular pension and immigration measures and strengthen his centrist party’s chances in the June EU election.

According to opinion polls, Macron’s camp is eight to 10 percentage points behind far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s party.

Macron Taps Attal to Offset Political Challenges

Attal, a close Macron friend who became a household figure as the government’s spokesman during the COVID outbreak, will succeed outgoing Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

According to recent opinion polls, Attal is one of the country’s most popular politicians. He has established himself as a knowledgeable minister who is at ease on radio shows and in parliament.

“Dear @GabrielAttal, I know I can count on your energy and your commitment to implement the project of revitalization and regeneration that I announced,” said Macron, who at the end of last year said he would announce new political initiatives.

Attal and Macron have a combined age just below that of Joe Biden, who is running for a second term in the United States presidential races. He will become France’s youngest prime minister and the first to be out gay openly. 

Macron’s first move leads to Political Turbulence

Macron has struggled to deal with a more volatile parliament since losing his absolute majority immediately after being re-elected in 2022, according to the report by the Reuters.

“By appointing Gabriel Attal … Emmanuel Macron wants to cling to his popularity in opinion polls to alleviate the pain of an interminable end to his reign,” said Jordan Bardella, the 28-year-old leader of Le Pen’s National Rally party.

“Instead, he risks taking the short-lived Education Minister with him in his fall.”

France Prime Minister Gabriel Attal with former France Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron | Credits: Reuters

Opposition Skepticism

Other opposition leaders were quick to point out that they anticipated little from the new prime minister, with Macron taking on much of the decision-making.

“Elisabeth Borne, Gabriel Attal or someone else, I don’t care, it will just be the same policies,” Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure told France Inter radio.

Varied Reactions and Future Prospects

However, MP Patrick Vignal, a member of Macron’s Renaissance party, stated that Attal is “a bit like the Macron of 2017,” referring to the moment when the President became the youngest leader in modern French history and was a popular figure among voters.

Vignal stated that Attal “is clear; he has authority.”

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