Iceland’s PM Resigns over Panama Papers Revelations

World | April 5, 2016, Tuesday // 19:38|  views

Iceland`s PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson leaves the residence of President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson after a meeting of the two, 5 April 2016, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo EPA/BGNES

Iceland's prime minister has tendered his resignation two days after his name was linked to the Panama Papers offshore tax revelations, international newswires reported on Tuesday.

Sigmunder David Gunlaugsson is the first major casualty of the global Panama Papers leaks from law firm Mossack Fonseca, which have brought the world offshore finance into the spotlight.

The leaks showed that the prime minister once owned an offshore company, now owned by his wife, which was a creditor of failed Icelandic banks.

The revelations have exposed Sigmunder David Gunlaugsson to accusations that he had tried to conceal millions of Icelandic crowns worth of family assets in offshore accounts at a time when he was overseeing talks with Iceland’s creditors. The leaked documents didn’t suggest that he had acted illegally but his critics allege that his involvement in the scheme amounts to a conflict of interest. 

A spokesman for Iceland’s government has said that the claims against the country’s collapsed banks held by the company owned by his wife totalled more than 500 million Icelandic crowns (EUR 3.57 M), according to Reuters.

Gunlaugsson has denied any wrongdoing.

On Monday, a protest rally in front of Iceland’s parliament demanded the resignation of the head of the coalition government and the opposition filed a no-confidence motion.

Gunnlaugsson has been heading a centre-right coalition government composed of his Progressive Party and the Independence Party since 2013.

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Tags: Iceland, leaks, Panama Papers, Sigmunder David Gunlaugsson, Mossack Fonseca, offshore


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