France's Macron to name new PM as he launches political reset

France's Macron to name new PM as he launches political reset

The move will not necessarily lead to any major political shift but rather signals a desire for Macron to try to move beyond last year’s unpopular pension and immigration reforms and improve his centrist party’s chances in the June EU ballot.

Opinion polls show Macron’s camp trailing far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s party by around eight to ten percentage points.

Attal, a close Macron ally who became a household name as government spokesman during the COVID pandemic, was widely cited by political sources and media as being most likely to replace outgoing Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

One of the country’s most popular politicians, Attal has made a name for himself as s savvy minister, at ease on radio shows and in parliament.

If his appointment is confirmed, he would become France’s youngest prime minister and the first to be openly gay.

He and Macron would have a combined age just below that of Joe Biden, who is running for a second mandate in this year’s U.S. presidential election.

“If it is indeed Gabriel Attal, it was the best card the president could play,” Ifop pollster Jerome Fourquet told BFM TV, pointing to his popularity, which he said Attal gained thanks to taking quick action as education minister, and through his communication skills.

Macron, who has struggled to deal with a more turbulent parliament since losing his absolute majority shortly after being reelected in 2022, announced on Monday that Borne was resigning.

Opposition leaders were quick to say they did not expect much from the change in prime minister.

“Elisabeth Borne, Gabriel Attal or someone else, I don’t care, it will just be the same policies,” Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure told France Inter radio.

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