Former French Prime Minister Elisabeth took the fall for the unpopular Macron second Presidential mandate, and now the way is open for the young new PM and a distinctly more rightwing cabinet.
President Emmanuel Macron needs to rapidly refashion his failing government ahead of European parliament elections and the Paris Olympics this summer.
The reboot in government, as Reuters reported, “[…] comes just five months before European Parliament elections, with eurosceptics expected to make record gains at a time of widespread public discontent over surging living costs and the failure of European governments to curb migration flows.”
In the new government, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and his former partner, the foreign minister Stéphane Séjourné, are two gay politicians with a socialist background, but their presence seems designed to mask the extent to which Macron’s administration is shifting to the right.
This is, of course, not to doubt the capabilities of the duo, but rather to highlight the subtle balancing act that Macron will undertake, gunning for the conservative vote while seemingly keeping his Globalist-liberal ‘clout’.
Gabriel Attal, the youngest PM ever, kept most of the main names from the outgoing government.
His former partner Stéphane Séjourné is the new Foreign Affairs minister, something which in any normal circumstance would be objected to as highly inappropriate – but hey, this is France ’24: normal does not apply.
A Sarkozy-era minister Rachida Dati holds the culture portfolio in a cabinet with a profile clearly more skewed to the right than any previous ones under President Emmanuel Macron.
“Gone it seems is the careful preservation of left-right balance. Today the only members of the government with a past in the Socialist Party (PS) are Mr Attal himself and Mr Séjourné (though Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti also has been identified with the left in the past).
Among those who came to Mr Macron from the centre-right Republicans (LR) are Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu – all of whom keep their posts.
To their number is now added 58-year-old Rachida Dati, who rose to fame as a young minister of justice under President Sarkozy in 2007.”
Conservative Rachida Dati is one of 11 children born to a Moroccan-Algerian couple in Chalon-sur-Saôneand she battled her way to the top ‘by force of personality’.
“Political insiders were knocked backwards by news of her appointment at culture, because she was not seen as a particular friend of the government. She once said Macronites were all traitors – either from the left or from the right.”
She was suspended from the Les Republicains party, her recruitment a feat for Attal.
The Guardian reported:
“Emmanuel Macron has tilted the French government significantly to the right, bringing in key figures close to the former rightwing president Nicolas Sarkozy in an attempt to reinvigorate his second term and limit possible gains by the far right at the European elections.
‘I don’t want managers, I want revolutionaries’,” Macron told the first cabinet meeting of the new government led by Gabriel Attal, 34, France’s youngest ever prime minister. He called for ‘quick results’.
[…] Attal himself has deliberately borrowed vocabulary from Sarkozy’s successful 2007 presidential campaign when he managed to hold back the far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen. Sarkozy’s catchphrase of appealing to French low and middle-income workers who “wake early” has been repeated by Attal, who also focused on Sarkozy’s topics of security, merit and authority. Attal told TF1 news that he would fulfil Macron’s promise to cut taxes for middle-income families.”