Wednesday, April 6, 2016


That did not take long. Just days after the leak from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and we already got our first major casualty. Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, has resigned and Iceland will now have to go to the polls.

Thousands of people has been protesting outside the parliament building in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik on Monday since Mr Gunnlaugsson's name was brought up in the 11.5 million leaked financial and legal records from Mossack Fonseca and an online petition calling for his resignation got 26,000 people's signature. That's 8% of the country's population. Opposition parties in Iceland were tabling a confidence motion. Mr Gunnlaugsson saw the writing on the wall and jumped before he was pushed.

Thing is...he did not do anything illegal. The leaks showed that Mr. Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife in 2007. He did not declare an interest in the company when entering parliament in 2009 but sold his 50% of the company to his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir, for $1 (£0.70) eight months later. Mr Gunnlaugsson maintains no rules were broken, that his wife did not benefit financially, and most people thinks he is telling the truth.

Unfortunately, that's part of the problem. Mr Gunnlaugsson might not have done anything illegal, but it's what legal that gets people. Mr Gunnlaugsson was clearly concealing his family assets, and while there wasn't any wrongdoing legally, this is something normal people cannot do. Only the rich and powerful are able to hide their assets the way he did and that piss people off because they feel that's not a level playing field. They are right.

People know that the rich and the powerful has ways to hide their assets and avoid taxes. The leak from Mossack Fonseca just prove what we had always known. There's one set of rules for the rich, and another for the rest of the world. That's the injustice shown and proven by the leaks of Mossack Fonseca. That's the problem that got Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson.

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