Gabriel Attal: France gets its youngest-ever Prime Minister

Gabriel Attal is now the youngest-ever PM of France at 34. Photo Courtesy: Gabriel Attal X page

France President Emmanuel Macron, looking to restore his second term, appointed Gabriel Attal as France’s youngest prime minister ever at the age of 34 on Tuesday.

Attal, who is also the country’s first openly gay prime minister, pledged to be audacious and move quickly to assist the middle class in coping with the rising cost of living.

“The youngest president in (France’s) history is appointing the youngest prime minister in (France’s) history. I want to see it as a symbol of audacity,” Attal was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Macron aims to move past his divisive measures in order to increase the prospects of his centrist party in the upcoming Parliament elections, as per Attal, who is a rising star in French politics.

Attal replaced Elisabeth Borne, the only other woman French Prime Minister, who stepped down after 20 months in office.

She battled the absence of a majority in parliament throughout that period.

There has been a rising public dissatisfaction over high living expenses in France and the controversial pension reform from the previous year.

The same has negatively impacted Macron’s standing and prospects in the EU election, where his party is well behind Marine Le Pen’s far-right.

With no working majority in the legislature, Macron has struggled to get his second term’s reform plan through and is now focusing on more cooperative goals including an attempt to achieve full employment.

In recent months, surveys have shown Attal to be among the most well-liked politicians in France.

As a government spokesman during the COVID pandemic, the Macron-supporter gained widespread recognition and developed a polished communication style.

It might take Macron and Attal a few days to announce the new administration. According to an Elysee staffer, this week’s Wednesday cabinet meeting is unlikely to happen, Reuters reported.

Macron, who was reelected in 2022 but found it difficult to manage a more tumultuous parliament, has indicated that change is needed in recent weeks.

The reorganisation is anticipated to heighten the competition among Macron’s team to follow him in the 2027 presidential election.

Along with Attal, possible contenders include former prime minister Edouard Philippe, interior minister Gerard Darmanin, and finance minister Bruno Le Maire.