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Icelandic Prime Minister – first “victim” of “Panama papers”

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Icelandic Prime Minister - first "victim" of “Panama papers”

David Gunlaugson

Originally appeared at Politika, translated by A. Djurich/А. Ђурић exclusively for SouthFront

Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunlaugson offered his resignation today because of the crisis caused by the so-called ““Panama papers””, according to local media.

Gunlaugson previously requested from the President of state Olaf Ragnar Grimsson an permission to dissolve parliament, but the president, who cut short a visit to the United States and returned to Reykjavik, said in a televised address that he wants to hear the opinion of a junior member of the coalition.

Gunnlaugsson, leader of the Progressive party, was exposed to invitations to submit resignations over allegations that he had an off-shore company worth millions of dollars, which have emerged in the financial documents entitled ““Panama papers””, which were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) .

Shortly before the return of the President in the country, thousands of demonstrators demanded from the Prime Minister to go, throwing eggs and yogurt at the parliament building.

In addition to Gunlaugson, ““Panama papers”” contain the name of the Minister of Finance Bernie Benediktsona leader of the Independent Party, the junior partner in the coalition, which also shortened the stay in Florida to return to the country.

According to “Panama papers” 41-year-old Gunlaugson and his wife Ana Sigurlaug Palsotir bought offshore company Vintris Ink. on the Virgin Islands in December 2007.

At the end of 2009 he sold its share of 50% to his spouse for a symbolic sum of one dollar, reports AFP.

He is criticized because when he was elected to parliament in April 2009, as a member of the center-right Progressive Party he has not reported a stake of the holding company.

The scandal with the “Panama papers” caused numerous denials of world leaders and celebrities, fighting back saying that they did not do anything wrong. Some of the most famous personalities covered by the scandal say they have unfair treatment at a time when the governments initiate a series of investigations on tax evasion and other fraud based on “Panama papers”.

“Panama papers” show that more than 500 bank branches and their subsidiaries registered nearly 15,600 offshore companies through the firm “Mosak Fonseka,” a vast majority of them established in the 1990s, according to website of ICIJ, which includes 100 daily newspapers.

One year investigation of ICIJ’s relating to the period of almost 40 years, from 1977 until December 2015, shows that some companies registered in tax havens were used for suspected money laundering, trafficking in weapons and drugs, as well as tax evasion.

Documents of the company “Mosak Fonseka” first came to the German daily “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”, and daily shared them with media organizations in ICIJ, that made the first release after the investigation, on Sunday.

Among the names mentioned by ICIJ and other media are cousins of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister of Iceland Gunlaugson and Barcelona player Lionel Messi.

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The powers that be (the bankers) hate Iceland for what they did to them. This is pay back time.

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