Icelandic PM Resigns After Panama Papers Revelation

He is the first major casualty of the massive leak.

Reykjavik demonstrations. REUTERS/Stigtryggur Johannsson — REUTERS
Apr 05, 2016 at 12:44 PM ET

Days after their release, the Panama Papers revelations of shady offshoring practice have taken down a head of state, forcing Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to resign. The files showed his wife owned an offshore company with $4 million worth of claims on Iceland’s collapsed banks. Critics charged the claims were a conflict of interest for the PM, who is in charge of overseeing those failed banks.

The Prime Minister faced major protests in the country yesterday, and another planned for this evening. He had tried to hang on to power by dissolving the parliament and calling a new election, but the president refused his request. According to the Financial Times, the current minister of fisheries and agriculture, Sigurdur Ingi Johansson, will take over.

Gunnlaugsson is the first figure mentioned in the Panama Papers to face major consequences. There have been complaints that revelations so far have not said enough about US involvement in offshoring. Reportedly, this will change.