This Monday morning the French president, Emmanuel Macron, posted a video on social networks in the gym, in a t-shirt and half sweaty, with boxing gloves on and with a bag next to him. The video was to celebrate the countdown to the Olympic Games that Paris will hold in the summer, but it also serves to illustrate the battle it faces.

After days of rumors, the president has decided to remodel the Government, which includes the departure of the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, who has presented her resignation and it has been accepted, as confirmed by the Elysée. She had been leading the Executive for 20 months.

“Dear Elisabeth Borne, your work in the service of our nation has been exemplary every day. You have launched our project with courage, commitment and the determination of women of state,” Macron said on X (formerly Twitter). Borne “will ensure, together with the members of the Government, the management of current affairs until the appointment of the new Government,” the Elysée said in a statement.

For days there has been speculation about his departure. The appointment of the new head of Government is expected in the next few hours. Gabriel Attal, the young Minister of Education, who was already promoted in the changes last summer, when he went from holding the Finance portfolio to that of Education, sounds like substitutes in the position. There are also Julien Denormandie, former Minister of Agriculture, and Sébastian Lecornu, Minister of Defense.

In this pool, the BFM network gives Attal, one of the youngest politicians in the Government (34 years old), as its favorite. In the barely five months that he has been in Education, he has carried out notable measures, such as the ban on the abaya in schools (the typical garment of some Muslim countries and which the Government considers violates the principle of religious neutrality in the classrooms). and also the plan against bullying.

In her resignation letter, which AFP has accessed, Élisabeth Borne considered that it is “more necessary than ever to continue the reforms.” “Although I must present the resignation of my Government, I wanted to say how passionate I have been about this mission, guided by the constant concern, which we share, to achieve rapid and tangible results for our citizens.”

Borne’s departure comes after a weekend of rumors and meetings between Macron and several ministers and collaborators. Borne has been very worn out in this year or so of her second term. She was weakened by the process of negotiation and approval of the unpopular pension reform, which half of France opposed and which left three months of violent protests. The law was finally approved by decree, without a parliamentary vote, as it did not have a sufficient majority.

After that crisis, Macron already made changes in the Executive, but kept Borne in his position, even though his departure was a given. What has caused this new remodeling (and the departure of the prime minister) has been the controversial approval of the immigration law less than a month ago. The Assembly approved the norm, which was toughened during its examination in the Senate and the left wing of the Government considers it very harsh.

The proof is that the entire right and extreme right voted for her, including the party of Marine Le Pen, Macron’s eternal rival. This has caused a fracture within Macronism. In theory, with this change in the leadership of the Government, Macron would seek to relaunch his mandate. “It is necessary,” said François Bayrou, president of Modem, a centrist party that is part of Macron’s allies, on Sunday.

She was appointed in May 2022, after Macron’s re-election to the presidency of the Republic. She is the second woman to serve as prime minister. Before her was Edith Cresson, who was in the Government with François Mitterrand, between May 1991 and April 1992, just one year.

Representative of the left wing, her image, however, “remains linked to that of Madame 49.3,” Frédéric Dabi, director of the Ifop institute, pointed out in Le Monde, referring to the article of the constitution that allows a law to be approved without a vote.

In the 20 months that he has led the Executive, he has done it twenty times. He has managed to push forward the pension law and the immigration law, two of Macron’s key reforms in this second presidential term. The president faces difficult months, about 200 days before the Olympic Games that will test the country’s security and the proximity of the European Games in June, where Marine Le Pen’s extreme right sees itself as the winner.