Iceland PM urged to resign after Panama Papers leak

              More than 16,000 Icelanders have also signed a petition demanding his resignation, while the opposition has said it will seek a vote of no confidence in parliament, likely to be held this week.. FILE – This is a Wednesday June 19, 2013 file photo Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson speaks during a press conference in Stockholm. (Source: Bertil Enevag Ericson, TT, File via AP )

Iceland’s prime minister was under pressure to quit today after the leak of the “Panama Papers” tax documents showed he and his wife used an offshore firm to allegedly hide million-dollar investments.

A former prime minister urged Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to resign after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism on Monday released 11.5 million financial records detailing the holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders.

They included Gunnlaugsson of Iceland’s right-wing Progressive Party and his wife Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir, aswell as criminals and celebrities.

WATCH VIDEO: What Do The Panama Papers Reveal

Panama Papers

“The prime minister should immediately resign,” former Social Democratic prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said in a message posted on Facebook.

More than 16,000 Icelanders have also signed a petition demanding his resignation, while the opposition has said it will seek a vote of no confidence in parliament, likely to be held this week.

According to the documents, Gunnlaugsson and Palsdottir purchased the offshore company Wintris Inc. in the British Virgin Islands in December 2007. He transferred his shares to his wife in 2009 for the symbolic sum of one dollar.

WATCH| Panama Papers: Big Names In The Global List

Gunnlaugsson yesterday denounced the release of the documents and called it a witch hunt against him and his wife.

“She (Palsdottir) has been adamant to pay taxes on it (Wintris) to the Icelandic society rather than saving money by paying taxes abroad.

“She has neither utilised tax havens nor can you say that her company is an offshore company in the sense that it pays taxes abroad rather than in Iceland,” Gunnlaugsson said on his website.

Gunnlaugsson was elected in 2013 by promising full transparency but he has been in the hot seat since his wife acknowledged the existence of the company in mid-March.

In an interview with Swedish public broadcaster SVT that aired yesterday in Iceland, Gunnlaugsson stormed out andrefused to answer any questions when pushed to explain the nature of the offshore company.

“There have not been any of my assets hidden anywhere,” Gunnlaugsson said.

“It’s like you are accusing me of something,” he said. His spokesperson told SVT that the couple had followed all Icelandic law and had declared all income and property since 2008.

Despite media requests, his tax records had not yet been publicly released.

“People should not have a prime minister they are ashamed of… The prime minister expressed a distrust of the currency and the Icelandic economy by putting money in a tax haven,” said Sigurdardottir, the former prime minister.

Comments

  • Related News
  • America diary: Foreigners hotels.

    Narendra Modi will be staying at the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel during his visit to New York. Waldorf Astoria in New York.While Narendra Modi will stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel during his visit to New York, t...

    World 2015-09-24 03:32:11

    Tracking PM Modi in America: Two stars already in US Pope Francis and Xi Jinping.

    The Pope’s US tour began on Tuesday as he arrived in Washington DC. On Thursday, he will be in New York to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit. Michelle and Barack Obama greet Pope Francis on his arr...

    World 2015-09-24 03:25:15

    Pope Francis urges US action on climate change.

    Crimes of sexual abuse should not be repeated, says Pope Francis. Pope Francis give the thumbs-up from the popemobile during a parade around the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Wednesday. (Source: AP)Pl...

    World 2015-09-24 00:30:07

    Any act that amounts to undermining Nepals sovereignty is not acceptable: Prachanda.

    Two Senior Communist leaders from Nepal — one a former orime minister, and another one aspiring for the top post — on Tuesday said the promulgation of the new Constitution in Nepal was a “mat...

    World 2015-09-23 01:05:18

    Migrants In Berlin: Uphill task for Germany as tide rises.

    Germany- the world’s fourth largest nation by GDP or national income needs more migrants - some hundred thousands annually considering that it has an aging population. A queue of asylum-seekers in Moabit dis...

    World 2015-09-22 02:23:53

    Conflict watch: From Syria to Afghanistan, all you need to know about the week that was.

    The Turkish government continued to grapple with Kurdish militants who killed two police officers in a car bomb attack in the country’s southeast last Sunday.AFGHANISTAN: Taliban insurgents raided a jail in e...

    World 2015-09-21 00:12:16

    Turbulent Turkey.

    Kurdish nationalism, Islamic State and conflicts in Syria and Iraq — look who’s caught in the middle. Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrians wait behind a border fence near the Turkish town of Suruc o...

    World 2015-09-21 00:03:02

    Migrants surge into Western Europe through Austria.

    Austrian police reported 6,700 new arrivals from Hungary since midnight. Europe migrant crisis: Migrants queue up for buses after they arrived at the border between Austria and Hungary near Heiligenkreuz, about 1...

    World 2015-09-19 15:30:32

    Constitution promulgation: Indian foreign secretary meets senior leaders in Nepal.

    Barely 48 hours before the scheduled delivery of the Constitution, follows what appears like Nepal’s cold-shouldering India’s suggestion to put off voting and adoption of the Constitution in hurry.India...

    World 2015-09-19 02:13:23

    Netherlands: Dutch police evacuate Paris-bound train, arrest man.

    The incident comes less than a month after passengers subdued a gunman on board a Thalys train in northern France as it was traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, also on a Friday. A anti-terrorist unit of the Dutch p...

    World 2015-09-18 17:04:31

    Taliban attack on Pakistan Air Force base kills 20; 16 die in mosque.

    The attack triggered an hours-long firefight at the base and the Pakistani forces said they killed 13 of the attackers, though it was unclear how many were involved in the assault. A volunteer and security persona...

    World 2015-09-18 13:00:59

    Vietnam accuses Thailand of attacking fishing boats.

    The Thanh Nien newspaper quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh as saying several boats were fishing illegally in Thai waters when the Thai vessel used weapons to chase them away. Fishing disputes are commo...

    World 2015-09-18 09:24:11

    Mums the Word: How Nancy Frates raised millions with one bucket.

    How Nancy Frates mobilised millions with one ice bucket challenge. It’s been four years since her son Pete was diagnosed with ALS, and Frates and her family kickstarted the Ice Bucket Challenge.“ITR...

    World 2015-09-18 00:03:02

    Military in Burkina Faso confirms coup, dissolves government.

    In the announcement aired on Thursday on national television and radio, the statement said that the transitional government had been dissolved. Burkina Faso was due to hold elections on October 11 that many hoped ...

    World 2015-09-17 14:34:13

    Nepal assembly clears Constitution, promulgation set for Sunday.

    The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, a splinter group of the main opposition Maoist Party, has given bandh call on September 20, the day scheduled for promulgation. The charter was passed by a 507-25 vote in the ...

    World 2015-09-17 04:03:37

    Australian fighter jets make first air strike against Islamic State in Syria.

    The United States, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states have already been involved in strikes on IS militants in Syria. The United States, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states have already been involved in strikes on IS milit...

    World 2015-09-16 08:55:59

    15 killed in Utah flash floods.

    Twelve of the victims were from two families who were in two vehicles caught off guard Monday afternoon by ragingwaters in the small town of Hildale. Russ Cook and his family stands next to severely damage vehicle...

    World 2015-09-16 08:47:45

    Displaced Syrians remain on Turkish border despite truce: MSF.

    Tens of thousands of Syrians fled the northern city of Aleppo and surrounding areas in early February as Syrian forces backed by Russian air strikes pressed an offensive there against rebels. .

    Tens of thousand...

    World 2016-03-04 22:26:00

    Turkey: 2 women hurl hand grenade, fire at police.

    The state-run Anadolu Agency said the two attackers escaped the scene in a vehicle and were hiding inside a building some distance from the police station. .

    Two female attackers on Thursday opened fire and hur...

    World 2016-03-03 17:05:29

    Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton rack up Super Tuesday wins; Ted Cruz keeps foothold.

    Both Clinton and Trump were denied a clean sweep which many poll pundits had predicted. . Super Tuesday: Both Clinton and Trump were denied a clean sweep which many poll pundits had predicted. (Source: AP)

    Repu...

    World 2016-03-02 17:50:31