What Have We Won?: Iceland Smites The Panama Papers! - The Reykjavik Grapevine

What Have We Won?: Iceland Smites The Panama Papers!

What Have We Won?: Iceland Smites The Panama Papers!

Published May 10, 2019

Ever seen ‘Scarface’? Fantastic film, right? Well, imagine that for every minute of that 170-minute movie featuring guns, mountains of cocaine, and greed, a real life greedy Icelander was there, making bank, stacking it up and burying their face in it, before promptly dumping it abroad in off-shore accounts. Well, welcome to Iceland and the Panama Papers. 

A true utopia

“Welcome to Iceland, the place where people think not of your genitals while they rob you blind. Truly a utopia.”

Yes, Iceland was blessed with the highest number of people per capita in the Panama Papers, with 170 individuals getting busted by the report. It was a proud achievement for the county, second only to the numerous times they’ve been awarded the country with the most gender equality. Yes, welcome to Iceland, the place where people think not of your genitals while they rob you blind. Truly a utopia.

Those outed in the Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) database included, “investors, CEOs and company board members, merchants, wholesalers, attorneys, and fishing industry leaders,” according to RÚV’s coverage from 2016.

Paradise lost

Iceland’s citizens, though, were not as fond of this win as you’d expect. In fact, they reacted with protests, which included about 7% of the country, demanding that then prime minister Sigmundur Davíð—who was named in the papers—resign. These protests were so lively that they even included throwing Skyr at the Parliament building. While Sigmundur originally said he would not resign, he eventually did. See? Peer pressure does work.

Unfortunately, Iceland did learn its lesson from this, as years later when the Paradise Papers were released, Iceland has lost its spot as the number one country. It was a stunning defeat for the country, second only to when Björk lost Best Music Video at the Grammy’s to Korn’s ‘Freak On A Leash.’ That was certainly a doozy.

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