How Gabriel Attal Will Change World Politics
Just three weeks into the job, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has to deal with his first major crisis, specifically with the agriculture sector. As the first openly gay Prime Minister, Mr. Attal’s election has drawn public attention, and outrage from conservative sectors in and out of France, although each of these for different reasons. Attal’s French opposition targets his youth and presumed inexperience in the position, exacerbated by France’s current bind with the Farmer’s Union. Users praised his election, while others accused him of being out of touch, especially with Attal’s reassurance of France’s progressive values all while farmers mobilized to block the major highways to Paris. For added context, French farmers protest against insufficient pay, EU regulations, and unfair competition from cheap imports. Despite Attal’s previous positions as Minister of Public Action and Accounts and National Education and Youth, his detractors keep capitalizing on his supposed lack of experience.
On the other side of the spectrum, Attal is one of the more popular politicians in France, thanks to his persuasive communication skills and political savviness. His first move following his appointment as education minister back in 2023 was to ban the Muslim abaya dress in state schools, which earned him a popularity boost from conservative voters despite hailing from the left. Some speculate that he could be a potential successor of Macron for the 2027 presidential election. On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron appointed the 34-year-old Education minister as his new prime minister. Attal is France’s first openly gay prime minister, outed by an old school associate, a classmate called Juan Branco, in 2018 when he was named junior minister during Macron’s 2017 mandate. While LGBTQ+ members have worked in political offices since ancient times, (we’re looking at you, Ancient Rome & China), rarely have they done so openly. Attal’s election will influence the political landscape in the world, not only in France. His example of success might motivate other gay political leaders, even those in the highest political offices, to open up without fearing backlash from the masses. Attal joined the Socialist Party when he was 17, making a name for himself in French politics after being named government spokesman during the pandemic, and climbing up to the junior minister position in the finance ministry. Certain rumors of his election to these positions being nepotistic spread like wildfire on Twitter, given how Stéphane Séjourné, Attal’s husband at the time, is one of President Macron’s councilors. Even certain LGBT rights organizations have criticized him for not being outspoken enough about his sexuality, or promoting LGBTQ+ rights. Regardless, his election proves that France’s mindsets are evolving, and his growing popularity might soon mean more inclusive policies in France are coming soon.
By- Sebastian Calderon