Gavin Mortimer Gavin Mortimer

France’s new PM Gabriel Attal is already fighting fires

Gabriel Attal (Credit: Getty images)

Gabriel Attal has only been in his job for two weeks but the youngest prime minister in the history of the Fifth Republic is already facing a series of crises. The most pressing issue for the 34-year-old premier is the farmers’ protest, which began last Friday when a blockade was erected on the A64 motorway west of Toulouse.  

Early yesterday morning a car drove into the blockade, killing a farmer and her 12-year-old daughter. Details of the crash emerged throughout the day: it was not a deliberate act, the driver and the occupants were foreign and were confused by the protest. Then it was revealed that the three people in the car were Armenians, in the country illegally, after their application for asylum had been rejected last year. They should have been deported but, as is frequently the case, the three individuals ignored the expulsion order and no official executed it.  

The farmers are testing Attal, using him to get at Macron, the primary target of their fury

Details were also revealed on Tuesday of a man arrested on suspicion of raping a student at knifepoint in her university hall of residence last week. Born in Congo, the man has a series of convictions for serious sexual assault in recent years but had served only brief spells in prison. He was released on 4 January and is alleged to have raped the student two weeks later.  

There is a reason why Marine Le Pen doesn’t make as many media appearances as she once did. She doesn’t need to. People are turning to her National Rally party in their droves because of the stories they read in the papers and watch on the news. France is descending into anarchy

Only those on the far left refuse to accept the terrible truth of the situation.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in