On Tuesday the 9th of January, French President Emmanuel Macron appointed outgoing Education Minister Gabriel Attal as his new Prime Minister, following the resignation of Elisabeth Borne on Monday, ahead of a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle. At 34, Attal is the youngest and first openly gay prime minister in French history, reports Politico.
Emmanuel Macron is seeking to revive a second term marked by widespread protests against pension reform and internal disputes within the coalition over an immigration bill that caused considerable tensions.
Gabriel Attal, a rising political figure, left the Socialist Party in 2016 to support Macron and eventually in 2018 became the youngest cabinet member since the French Fifth Republic. Having held various positions, including government press secretary and budget minister, and education minister since July,
he has now been appointed France’s new prime minister – the fourth in Macron’s presidency.
Gabriel Attal was chosen from among such prominent figures as Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu.
“When I appointed [Gabriel Atal] as Minister for Education, I knew he had the energy and courage for the job”. Politico quotes Macron as saying in a recent TV interview. He added that he had nurtured a new talent.
During his short tenure as education minister, Attal introduced various reforms
in the education sector, such as a ban on the abaya (traditional dress worn by Muslim women) in schools, allowing pupils not to be advanced to the next grade without parental approval and raising the difficulty level of standardised tests.
He also introduced civic service for teenagers and advocated for compulsory school uniforms, with the support of conservatives such as Eric Ciotti and French First Lady Brigitte Macron.
To explain his political actions, Attal has opened up about his personal life and youth, describing the mobbing and homophobia he endured during high school, according to Politico.
Also read: South Korea passes law prohibiting dog meat trade
Follow us on Facebook and X!