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Little known facts about France’s first female Prime Minister in 30 years

Trang Phan (Source: The Guardian, CNN, France24)Thursday, May 19, 2022 06:23 GMT+7

New French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

Portrait female Prime Minister France’s first in 30 years

Mrs. Elisabeth Borne, 61 years old, got French President Emmanuel Macron appointed him on May 16 after Jean Castex resigned earlier the same day. Usually French presidents have several prime ministers serving under them during their tenure. The country’s first female Prime Minister was Édith Cresson, who served from May 1991 to April 1992, under President François Mitterand.

Little is known about France's first female Prime Minister in 30 years - Photo 1.

New French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne (right) and outgoing Prime Minister Jean Castex at the leadership transfer ceremony in Paris, May 16, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

Borne was born in Paris, France in 1961. Her mother, Marguerite Lecèsne, was French, a pharmacist, and her father, Joseph Bornstein, was a Polish Jew who emigrated to France early in the War World War II Mrs. Borne was born in Paris, France in 1961. Her mother, Marguerite Lecèsne, was French, a pharmacist, and her father, Joseph Bornstein, was a Polish Jew who emigrated to France. at the beginning of World War II. Her parents ran a pharmaceutical laboratory after the war. Borne’s father’s death when she was 11 years old, she received the “nation’s student” education subsidy that the state grants to minors whose parents were wounded or killed in war, an attack on terrorist attacks or while providing certain public services. Borne attended high school at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly in Paris. She then entered the École Polytechnique, aka the Polytechnic of Paris, and graduated as a civil engineer. She obtained an engineering degree from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (French National School of Construction and Bridges). In 1986, she began her studies at the Collège des Ingénieurs, where she obtained a Master of Business Administration.

Ms Borne’s new role as Prime Minister is not the first time she has achieved a major accomplishment as a woman. Before that, in 2013, she was appointed Governor of Vienne and the Poitou-Charentes Region of France. In 2015, Ms. Borne was appointed CEO of RATP, a state-owned company that operates the transport system of Paris, France.

A career success, Borne held several positions under Socialist ministers before joining Macron’s centrist En Marche party in 2017. During Mr. Macron’s first government, She served as the Minister of Transport for a short time. In 2018, she weathered a union strike, passing a bill to open the railway company SNCF to competition. She then served as Minister of Ecological Transformation for a year and as Labor Minister since 2020. During Ms Borne’s time as Labor Minister, unemployment in France fell to its lowest level. Within 15 years, the youth unemployment rate fell to a 40-year low. The French press said that with Ms. Borne’s deep knowledge of government operations, she would be able to help Mr. Macron remove difficulties and promote reform policies.

A strong woman in a still “masculine” politics

Borne follows a leftist political ideology. According to France24, Mr. Macron has sought to appoint someone with a strong background in environment and social policy ahead of parliamentary elections in June, when he faces challenges from far-left parties. , led by Mr. Jean-Luc Melenchon. The former prime minister, Cresson, said Ms Borne “would need a lot of courage” amid a French politics that, he said, was still very “masculine”. Because Ms. Borne, as described by the press, is a gentle leftist woman with a deep understanding of the country, local politics and business.

In his first brief speech after handing over work with his predecessor Jean Castex at the Matignon Palace, new Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne mentioned a number of upcoming policy priorities, such as trade or combat climate change. Especially she wants to inspire all girls to follow their dreams. Ms. Borne said: “Nothing can stop the struggle for women’s place in society. All little girls should fulfill their dreams.”

According to an Ifop poll, a total of 74% of French people said they would like a female prime minister. Mr. Macron’s previous government had an equal number of women and men, but many believe that his group of advisers and confidants is still predominantly male.

What awaits the new Prime Minister in the immediate future?

Borne’s first task will be to manage the various political factions in President Macron’s center group – who need to win a parliamentary majority in next month’s elections – when Mr. Macron needs to take his time. for plans to overhaul pensions and the welfare state.

If Mr Macron wins a majority, from this summer Ms Borne must extend the cap on energy prices and introduce further measures to address voters’ concerns about jobs amid the cost crisis cost of living increased. She was then tasked with directing Mr Macron’s plans to raise the pension age from 62 to 64 or 65, which was seen as sparking union opposition and street protests. . The new prime minister will also be given a new brief on overseeing what Mr Macron has promised will be a radical new form of “green planning” aimed at curbing carbon emissions and promoting environmental policy.

Little is known about France's first female Prime Minister in 30 years - Photo 2.

Elisabeth Borne is a staunch supporter of French President Macron. (Photo: AFP)

Borne is a staunch supporter of President Macron, who held three key ministerial jobs during his first term: Transport, Environment and Labour. She is known for taking tough policies and pushing them through, including Mr Macron’s sweeping reforms to state railways, which sparked the biggest strikes in decades. Mr Macron’s ally Christophe Castaner has nicknamed Ms Borne “the minister of impossible but doable reforms”.

Mr. Macron, 44, won a solid victory in the French presidential election last month against far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Mr. Macron won 58.5% of the vote compared with 41.5% of Le Pen. Mr. Macron has promised to change the way politics is top-down and more consultative, expanding his base.

Meanwhile, Ms Borne, who was in charge of government during Macron’s first term, symbolizes continuity. Borne’s appointment as Prime Minister paved the way for a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle by President Macron, in line with the trend that the government will be more “centralised”, with fewer ministers. pay more attention to social policy issues and green development, according to the campaign platform that Mr. Macron has pledged. It is also said that it could give Mr Macron the opportunity to assemble a broad leftist coalition in the parliamentary elections, scheduled for June 12 and 19, facing challenges from the side. politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, who finished third in the recent presidential election.

Ms Borne has described that she is personally motivated by efficiency, rather than being too busy with “the limelight”. “For me, doing politics is not about what people say about me, but about dedicating myself to carrying out projects that serve my country,” Borne told France radio. Inter last year. “Politics is not about pushing myself on stage.”

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