French President, Macron picks 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as PM

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday picked Gabriel Attal as Prime Minister in a bid to give new momentum to his government.

The 34-year-old Attal becomes France’s youngest and first openly gay head of government.

Following days of speculation, Macron yesterday accepted the resignation of Elisabeth Borne, 62, who stepped down along with the rest of the government after serving less than two years in office.

The reshuffling comes ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris and European parliament elections this summer where Macron’s centrist forces risk defeat at the hands of the far-right under Marine Le Pen.

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“The President of the republic appointed Mr Gabriel Attal Prime Minister, and tasked him with forming a government,” a presidential statement said.

Attal is set to bring a major change of style to the office of the prime minister following Borne, only the second woman to lead the French government.

The appointment of Attal had been expected after Borne’s resignation on Monday and the absence of the swift announcement fuelled talk that heavy-weight government figures were unhappy over Attal’s meteoric promotion.

However sources close to those said to be behind the tensions, including Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, vehemently denied this.

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