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Openly gay 34-year-old Gabriel Attal becomes France’s youngest ever Prime Minister

French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed close ally Gabriel Attal the country’s new prime minister, the youngest ever and the first to be openly gay.

Macron announced the resignation of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne earlier this week, and hopes Tuesday’s appointment of Attal, 34, will give him a political boost ahead of June’s EU elections.

Recent polling indicates that Macron’s Renaissance party is trailing far-right leader Marine Le Pen by eight to 10 points.

The newly appointed Prime Minister will be charged with the responsibility of bolstering the party’s prospects, and the move suggests Macron wishes to put his controversial pension and immigration reforms behind him and focus on improving his party’s prospects for success at the upcoming European parliamentary ballot.

Attal, a Macron favourite and one of France’s most popular politicians, gained prominence as government spokesman during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has been nicknamed the “Word Sniper” for his sharp communication skills.

From a privileged background, with a father of Jewish descent and a mother of French and Greek-Russian ancestry, Attal was outed as gay in 2018 and lives in a “civil union” with French Member of the European Parliament Stephane Sejourne.

He grew up in Paris, has three younger sisters, and was bullied while a student at his elite private school, the École Alsacienne in Paris’ 6th arrondissement, The Guardian reported.

Originally a member of the Socialist party, Attal switched to Macron’s En March in 2016, and enjoyed a rapid career rise.

Gabriel Attal (Ecole polytechnique -Jérémy Barande)

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