President Macron appoints Gabriel Attal, 34, as France’s youngest PM to tackle the rising right-wing challenge.
To counter the rising right-wing, President Macron appoints 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as France’s youngest Prime Minister. This decision emerges as Macron’s approval dips before the upcoming European Parliament elections in June.
The French right-wing capitalizes on cost-of-living issues and immigration, challenging Macron’s promised political transformation.
Marine Le Pen responds by promoting Jordan Bardella, 28, to lead RN’s European campaign, now outpacing Macron’s Renaissance.
Bardella’s rising fame, especially shown in a video of him being mobbed for selfies, increasingly worries Macron’s team. An insider close to the president confided to Reuters, “The President believes we urgently need someone to take on Bardella.”
As the youngest PM, Attal reflects Macron’s communicative prowess, debate skills, and appeal to conservative voters.
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Jerome Fourquet of IFOP commented on BFM TV, “This is the president’s trump card in countering Bardella’s rise, especially with the critical European elections on the horizon.”
As the former Education Minister, Attal’s initial move to ban abaya in schools received applause from the right-wing media sphere, fostered by Vincent Bollore, akin to France’s Rupert Murdoch.
Macron’s influence in Brussels hinges on success in these elections. In 2019, his party narrowly surpassed the RN, resulting in an equal seat distribution, enough for Macron’s young party to vie for significant EU roles.
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If RN outperforms Macron’s party, it will weaken his EU influence, risking Renew’s key members, amid rising populism.
Attal’s capability as PM, mirroring his previous successes, remains to be seen. Beyond his ambition for full employment in France, Macron’s New Year’s address called for a “Civic Re-Armament” to restore authority and tackle societal fragmentation.
Mujtaba Rahman observed that Macron, with major reforms enacted, might adopt more socially oriented and unifying policies.
This policy shift follows the previous summer’s shocking riots and a spate of brutal murders and Islamist attacks. Attal’s impact on these deep-rooted issues, which are complex in nature, is uncertain. Leading older ministers demands strong leadership and resolve.
The Prime Minister’s role is often seen as a poisoned chalice, typically bearing the brunt of presidential unpopularity. “By appointing Gabriel Attal, Macron aims to use his popularity to alleviate the ongoing challenges of his tenure,” he revealed on platform X. “He’s willing to risk the young Education Minister’s downfall with his own.”