Attal: the 'new Macron' at helm of French government

Gabriel Attal, named France's youngest ever prime minister Tuesday at the age of 34, has had a meteoric rise that has invoked comparisons with that of his mentor President Emmanuel Macron.

He is also the country's first openly gay French premier whose most pressing task will be to ensure that Macron's centrist forces overcome the far-right — first in European elections in June and then in presidential polls in 2027.

Attal's more combative style is likely to be a contrast to that of his predecessor Elisabeth Borne, 62, a technocratic figure more comfortable behind the scenes than with the cut and thrust of soundbite politics.

Taking high office at such a young age, Attal has sparked inevitable comparisons to Macron himself, who became France's youngest ever president at the age of 39.

He easily breaks the previous record held by Laurent Fabius, who was named premier by Francois Mitterrand aged 37 in 1984.

French media have even speculated that Attal could succeed Macron at the Elysee Palace in 2027 when the French president hits his term limit.

"Gabriel Attal, a new Macron?" said the French weekly Le Point in September.

Known for his confidence, Attal has proved himself to be one of the most ambitious ministers in Macron's government.

But despite his relative inexperience, he has earned a reputation as a firm and decisive figure.

Attal is the most popular figure in government, with more than a third backing his appointment as prime minister, according to an Odoxa survey published last week.

"Youth, public opinion and the real or potential capacity to lead the European election campaign made the difference" in the choice, said a source close to the presidency.

"He is popular, young, and he...

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