Prime Minister of Iceland – level 3

11-04-2016 07:00

The Icelandic Prime Minister has stepped down, becoming the first major casualty of the Panama Papers leak. The files showed his wife owned an offshore firm with big claims on the country’s collapsed banks. The Prime Minister had asked the president of Iceland to dissolve parliament, which would likely lead to a new election as it looked like there would be a vote of no confidence, but the President declined.

“The Prime Minister couldn’t assure me of the position of the Independence Party in regards to this request. In light of that I told the Prime Minister I wasn’t ready at this time without speaking to the leader of the Independence Party or even leaders of other parties to give him the sanction to dissolve parliament.”

Just the day before, an estimated 10,000 people protested outside parliament calling for the leader of the centre-right coalition to step down.

According to the Prime Minister, who’s been in power since 2013, all his wife’s overseas assets were taxed in Iceland and he had put public interests before his own. His opponents say it was a conflict of interest.

Difficult words: leak (the situation when secret information becomes public), claim on (a right to something), dissolve (to end), sanction (a permission).


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