France's New PM Is Nation's Youngest, and Openly Gay

Gabriel Attal, 34, takes over after the resignation of Elisabeth Borne
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 9, 2024 6:21 AM CST
France Gets First Openly Gay Prime Minister
Gabriel Attal is seen April 20, 2022 in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, outside Paris.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Gabriel Attal was named Tuesday as France's youngest-ever prime minister, as President Emmanuel Macron seeks a fresh start for the rest of his term amid growing political pressure from the far right. Macron's office announced the appointment in a statement. Attal, 34, rose to prominence as the government spokesman and education minister. He becomes France's first openly gay prime minister, per the AP.

Attal's predecessor, Elisabeth Borne, resigned Monday following recent political turmoil over an immigration law that strengthens the government's ability to deport foreigners. Borne served less than two years in office, per AFP. Macron, a 46-year-old centrist whose term ends in 2027, is to name a government in the coming days. "I know I can count on your energy and your commitment to implement the rearmament and regeneration project that I announced," the French president wrote on X to Attal, per the Guardian.

Although Attal's appointment doesn't necessarily indicate any big "political shift" on Macron's part, it does "[signal] a desire for Macron to try to move beyond last year's unpopular pension and immigration reforms" and boost his party's chances in the June EU ballot, per Reuters. Polls show that Macron's centrist party is about 8 to 10 percentage points behind the far-right party of Marine Le Pen, though Attal himself has done well in the polls. (More Gabriel Attal stories.)

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