Why Has The Prime Minister Of Iceland Resigned?

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Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the prime minister of Iceland since May 2013, resigned on Tuesday afternoon following the revelations revealed in the so-called Panama Papers. The 11 million leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca has shown how the company helped rich and powerful clients (including Britons) protect their wealth in secretive offshore tax havens. According to the BBC, Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company called Wintris which he bought with his wife in 2007. He has been accused of hiding millions of dollars of family assets through the company. He failed to declare his interest in Wintris when he entered parliament in 2009, which has been seen as a major financial conflict of interest. Opposition leaders, who together form a coalition with Gunnlaugsson’s Progressive party, had been discussing a motion calling for a general election after the revelations at the weekend. Gunnlaugsson wrote on Facebook on Monday: “I told the leader of the Independence Party that if the party's parliamentarians think they cannot support the government in completing joint tasks, I would dissolve parliament and call a general election.” However, he has now officially resigned, making him the first high-profile victim of the Panama Papers. Expect many more to come.

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