“C’est lui?” exclaimed a dark-haired boy of roughly nine years old from the market stall sidelines as a commotion passed in front of him. Fuzzy microphones on long handheld booms and news cameras poked above the crowd as it tightened to fit the narrowing space between vendors of vegetables and antiques and records and roast chicken.
The man beside him smiled toward the boy as he affirmed that it was indeed the new French prime minister, Gabriel Attal, come to the Sunday market in Caen after President Emmanuel Macron appointed him last Tuesday to replace Elisabeth Borne as head of the French government. In the scant days since his appointment, Attal has been busy selecting ministers to form his government and taking his first trips outside the capital as he begins his new role of determining and implementing the nation’s policies. Scant too is Attal’s age—the 34-year-old is France’s youngest ever prime minister.