Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live

News

news

Panama Papers: Iceland Premier Gunnlaugsson resigns

Iceland

<p>Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson has resigned a day after he said he would not resign. </p> <p>Gunnlaugsson becomes the first casualty of the now infamous Panama Papers leak which put the spotlight on the world of offshore financing.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Iceland PM Quits in Panama Papers Affair <a href="https://t.co/OayVpAYOsN">https://t.co/OayVpAYOsN</a> <a href="https://t.co/htXkM7sYEG">pic.twitter.com/htXkM7sYEG</a></p>— Voice of America (@VOANews) <a href="https://twitter.com/VOANews/status/717398283275137024">April 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson and his wife were cited in leaked documents from Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca of owning an offshore company, Wintris which they bought in 2007.</p> <p>He was accused of concealing millions of dollars worth of family assets. </p> <p>The Icelandic Premier reportedly sold his 50 percent stake in Wintris to his wife for $1, eight months later. He however did not declare an interest in the company when entering parliament in 2009. </p> <p>Thousands of Icelanders on Monday protested in front of parliament calling on the Gunnlaugsson to resign. But he refused.</p> <p>On Tuesday, he submitted a request to President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson for the dissolution of parliament after the opposition proposed a no-confidence motion. His request was denied. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Iceland PM calls for dissolution of parliament after tax scandal <a href="https://t.co/1y7FG9kdUk">https://t.co/1y7FG9kdUk</a> <a href="https://t.co/ApRrJACDuk">pic.twitter.com/ApRrJACDuk</a></p>— Times <span class="caps">LIVE</span> (@TimesLIVE) <a href="https://twitter.com/TimesLIVE/status/717346598360059905">April 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The Panama Papers leak which came to light at the weekend had surfaced in Iceland last a month earlier prompting the protests. </p> <p>“Of course we knew something was happening, the extent of the situation was a total surprise, so that’s why I’m here” said Gudrun Erlingsdottir, a protester.</p> <p>Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson said his wife’s overseas assets were taxed in Iceland and that he had put the interest of the public before his own in dealing with the financial claims.</p> <p>However, opponents and local media alleged a conflict of interest, and said that Gunnlaugsson should have been open about the overseas assets and the company. </p> <p>The centre-right government coalition of Gunnlaugsson has been in power since 2013.</p> <p><strong>_Reuters, News Agencies _</strong></p>

Of course we knew something was happening, the extent of the situation was a total surprise, so that's why I'm here.

View more