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Gabriel Attal, the Millennial prodige at the head of France

At the age of 34, Gabriel Attal is the new French Prime Minister: when do you stop being too young to play a responsible role in politics?


Age is only a number; beyond the Alps, the echo comes in these days: “ce n'est qu'un nombre, l’âge". Emmanuel Macron is well aware that in 2017 he became, at the age of 39, the youngest president of the French Republic. For those who regard ID as just a piece of paper, it was not difficult to appoint 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as French Prime Minister. A remarkable change from the previous tenant of the Hôtel de Matignon, Élisabeth Borne, 62, in view of the upcoming European elections.

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Born in 1989, Gabriel Attal grew up and trained in the French capital: first a degree in political science, then a law degree, they guarantee the ideal pedigree for the world of French politics. World in which he rapidly takes important steps: in 2012, at the age of 23, he is consultant responsible for relations with the Parliament within the Ministry of Health; in 2017 deputy of the National Assembly, elected from the ranks of LaREM (La République En Marche!, Macron’s party). At the age of 31, in 2020, he became a spokesman for the government, before joining the executive: Minister of Public Accounts first, of National Education last July. Macron's heir apparent, under 40, liberal socialist, openly homosexual: Gabriel Attal embodies the nightmare of the Made in Italy government and its allies around Europe.

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Attal defended the secularity of schools by prohibiting the abaya, the long dress worn by women in the Arab world (the hijab is banned since 2004, along with Christian crosses and Jewish kippah) and promoted a reform of the middle school, which divides pupils into classes according to the level of learning, in order to improve the quality of the French school. Questionable action, like that of the first hours as Prime Minister: the choice of ministers has recorded a turn to the right and a decrease in women at the top. Last but not least for the magazines, the appointment of former comrade Stéphane Séjourné to the Foreign Office. The fact is, however, that a Millennial is at the head of one of the most influential countries in the European Union; how many others would have granted it to him?

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It is not a question of right and left: the electorate of the first, larger by birth, tends to vote for vintage candidates, better if used guarantee; those of the second wave the flag on the generational change, meanwhile dust off the usual names. Taking a look at European politics, it seems that the ideal evergreen prevails, so the 50 are the new 30. Pedro Sánchez’s new Spanish executive recorded a 52.7-year average among his ministers; the members of the Bundestag, the German parliament, remained at 47.5 years; 51 for the British House of Commons. In Brussels, the average age of MEPs is 49.5; only 11 under 30. Overseas the situation is that of a real Gerontocracy: Sleepy Joe Biden in November blew out 81 candles; the branches (buckets) of Congress are on average 58 years (House) and 65.3 (Senate).

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What about in Italy?

It seems, taking a look at Italian institutions, that those born after the Seventies are not able to fill management roles.

Parliament: the average age, considering only the Chamber (to be elected to the Senate must be at least 40 years old, ndr), stands at 51 years: out of 630 deputies, 4 under 30 (all women: two M5S, one PD, one FDI); 133 under 40. 

  • Executive: at Chigi Palace the situation does not improve. The average age of the Meloni government ministers, the youngest of its executive, soars to 60. First woman to lead a government, not the youngest: Matteo Renzi is the primacy, appointed prime minister at 39 years in 2014.
  • Presidents of the regions: from north to south the situation is homogeneous, with an average of 58.5 years.

Faced with these numbers, it is not surprising that the commission on AI was chaired by Giuliano Amato, a young boy of politics class 1938.

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How much can a young European feel represented by this ruling class? The one that tells him to have more children, to invest in a house, to spend; distant, by will or registry, from the difficulties he encounters every day. “Young people are not interested in politics”: should they talk to them when they are fifty years old disguised as tiktokers who clog social networks with rhetorical catcher-like slogans and challenges? “Young people do not put themselves in the game”: is he allowed to take space? Given the results, age of the elect in hand, it would not seem. “But you need experience!”: how to increase it if they are not given a little confidence and, why not, the possibility of making mistakes?

The election of Gabriel Attal, regardless of political color, is proof that an alternative exists. A sincere choice, it is hoped: to use it to raise the approval ratings of the tenant of the Elysee, in view of this year’s European elections, would record yet another defeat of European politics.

“Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus.”



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios