An online petition calling for Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s resignation is gathering signatures rapidly.
The petition cites Article 3 of the Icelandic Administrative Law, which outlines the conditions by which a minister is unfit for office. This includes if a minister’s spouse is involved in a matter being investigated by parliament.
“The esteemed Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð decided to hide from voters the financial interests his wife has in a so-called foreign tax shelter, which can be seen as pertaining to his own interests,” the petition reads. “We therefore express the desire that Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigns as Prime Minister and also as a member of parliament.”
As reported, the Prime Minister has been under considerable fire – mostly from the opposition but also reportedly from within the Independence Party as well – after Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir, the wife of Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, made a post to Facebook revealing that she has been keeping an undisclosed amount of family inheritance money in a company called Wintris Inc. This money is kept in the British Virgin Islands, a popular tax haven, but Anna contends that the Icelandic tax office is well aware of this money, and everything is completely legal and above board.
However, Wintris Inc. is also a claimant against Landsbanki Íslands, Glitnir and Kaupthing to the tune of about half a billion ISK. Furthermore, Kjarninn has repeatedly asked for information regarding assets owned by government officials or members of their family that are being kept overseas, to no avail.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly advocated for the strength of the indexed Icelandic króna and the importance of keeping assets within the country. In addition, he has also repeatedly described bank claimants as “vultures” who are potentially damaging to the Icelandic economy.
Sigmundur has been on the defensive since the news broke, denying interviews with numerous media outlets. He has said he was “under no ethical obligation” to inform parliament of the financial activities of his wife, despite said activities being in apparent complete contradiction with his own economic policies.
Parliament is currently on Easter holiday, and so whether a no confidence proposal will go forward still remains to be seen.
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