Prime Minister Of France Resigns Over Immigration Woes

French President Emmanuel Macron last Tuesday named Education Minister Gabriel Attal to replace outgoing Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne who stepped down on January 8, Reuters reported.

In her resignation letter, Borne said she was resigning at President Macron’s request, explaining that he decided to appoint a new prime minister.

Borne’s resignation comes after the passage of controversial immigration legislation supported by Macron that aimed to give the country more power to deport foreign nationals.

Some liberals accused President Macron of caving to far-right leaders like National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen by backing the controversial measure.

Following the December 19 General Assembly vote on the immigration bill, Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau resigned in protest.

Borne was appointed in May 2022 following Macron’s election to a second term, becoming the country’s second female prime minister.

In a post on social media, Macron’s office confirmed that the president had accepted Borne’s resignation and said that her work had been “exemplary every day.” President Macron thanked Borne for helping to implement “our project” with “courage, commitment and determination”

The president said Borne would continue in her position until he named her replacement.

As it happened, the announcement of Borne’s replacement did not take long.

On Tuesday, January 9, President Macron announced that Education Minister Gabriel Attal would take Borne’s place. At 34, Attal became the youngest French prime minister in modern history and the country’s first-ever openly gay prime minister.

Attal is considered a media-savvy and popular rising star in French politics. With his selection, it is believed that Macron is attempting to inject new life into his second term while signaling a move beyond this government’s divisive reforms and improving his centrist party’s chances in the upcoming European Parliament elections.

According to the Associated Press, President Macron plans to work with Prime Minister Attal in naming a new government.