Knowing Gabriel Attal: France’s New Prime Minister

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Rabu, 10 Januari 2024 – 19:00 WIB

France – In recent days, President Emmanuel Macron officially chooses Gabriel Attal as the youngest Prime Minister of France, at 34. 

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Attal’s appointment came after Elisabeth Borne resigned as the Prime Minister of France. Elisabeth Borne resigned along with the entire government despite having held the position for less than two years.

Attal, who previously served as the Minister of Education during Emmanuel Macron’s leadership, now assumes the position left vacant by Borne.

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This reshuffle comes ahead of the upcoming Paris Olympics scheduled for July-August. France is also heading towards parliamentary elections where Macron faces the risk of losing to the right-wing opposition led by Marine Le Pen.

PM Baru Prancis Gabriel Attal

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Macron is anticipated to conduct a broader cabinet reshuffle this week. He is reportedly aiming to sharpen his team for the remaining three years of his tenure in Paris. 

He has been leading France for a second term since 2022. Throughout his leadership, Macron has faced various challenges, including unpopular pension reforms, a loss of majority in parliamentary elections, and controversies surrounding immigration laws.

Meanwhile, Attal is seen as a contender in the European elections against other rising French political figures like 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, who leads the right-wing RN party.

Attal gained prominence among the French populace during the Covid-19 pandemic as he served as the government’s spokesperson. He has emerged as one of the most popular politicians in the country.

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In fact, he even rivaled former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe as the most popular politician there, according to an IPSOS survey conducted last December.

Gabriel Attal is known as an intelligent minister who is adept at appearing on radio shows and handling parliamentary affairs. According to several media reports, he openly declared himself gay shortly after joining the government in 2018.

“Gabriel Attal openly declared himself gay shortly after joining the government in 2018 and announced his relationship with… Stéphane Séjourné,” wrote the American media outlet Politico.

“Both political leaders are no longer close but have never openly confirmed their separation,” the US media added.

Moreover, as reported by the French local media Le Monde, when he was appointed as the Minister of Education, Attal announced a ban on the wearing of the abaya in classrooms. According to him, the garment predominantly worn by Muslim women challenges secularism in French schools.

He is also actively involved in addressing bullying issues in school environments, having experienced bullying and homophobic harassment during his education at the prestigious private school, l’Ecole Alsacienne, in Paris.

Furthermore, his father, named Yves, is of Tunisian Jewish descent and chose to migrate during World War II. Gabriel Attal was raised as an Orthodox Christian by his mother, who hails from Russia.

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Meanwhile, Attal is seen as a contender in the European elections against other rising French political figures like 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, who leads the right-wing RN party.

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