PM Explains His Remarks On Offshore Accounts - The Reykjavik Grapevine

PM Explains His Remarks On Offshore Accounts

Published April 13, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

PM Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson has explained further what he meant by “it is complicated to keep money in Iceland.”

In the wake of the Panama Papers story, Sigurður was fairly diligent in defending former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was closely embroiled in the scandal. Last month, he went so far as to defend the use of offshore accounts themselves, saying, “It is obviously difficult to keep money in Iceland.”

Vísir reports that Social Democrat MP Ólína Kjerúlf Þorvarðardóttir asked Sigurður to elaborate on this sentiment.

Sigurður responded by saying first of all that he was not “in a formal interview” when he made that statement – although he was being interviewed by television station Stöð 2 at the time. Furthermore, he said that his remarks were a reference to society as a whole rather than Sigmundur in particular.

“Those who have money have been, for a very long time, much talked about by people,” Sigurður said. “That is simply all I meant. [Having money] can be difficult sometimes. It is often criticised in Iceland. That’s simply how it is.”

For more on this continuing story, follow our Panama Papers tag on Grapevine.is/news.

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