The Panama Papers Have Officially Toppled Iceland's Government

The Panama Papers Have Officially Toppled Iceland's Government

On Tuesday, Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson stepped down from his position in the aftermath of the Panama Papers leak.

His constituents demanded his resignation after the leak revealed Gunnlaugsson hid millions of dollars in a secretive offshore company. 

The AP originally reported he had resigned, but late on Tuesday the prime minister's office stated he wanted to step down "for an unspecified amount of time" instead of undergoing a formal resignation. This comes days after Sunday's unprecedented release of 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The data revealed countless instances of financial corruption committed by leaders around the world. 

The people of Iceland in particular were enraged. Here's a snapshot of their outcry.

Thousands descended upon Iceland's Parliament Monday on Monday to demand that Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resign after the Panama Papers leak exposed him for hiding millions of dollars in a secretive offshore company.

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

The unprecedented leak of 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca's database outed world leaders for hosting large sums of money in tax havens and offshore companies.

Gunnlaugsson was among those exposed. 

He not only hid millions in tax havens through an offshore company, Wintris Inc., he created in 2007, but the documents show in 2009 he sold his half of the company to his then-partner, now his wife, right before a new law would've made him declare that he owned it, according to the New York Times.

The hypocrisy: In his political campaign, Gunnlaugsson promised to crack down on bank creditors in the aftermath of a financial crisis in his country. 

Source: Periscope

But he had a personal stake in the outcome.

Gunnlaugsson has refused to resign on the basis that he didn't hide his assets or cheat his taxes.

But Wintris lost millions in the 2008 financial crisis and in the aftermath claimed more than $4 million from a few crippled Icelandic banks, according to the Times.

Source: YouTube

And in 2013, Gunnlaugsson was involved in settling a deal with the banks' claimants.

Conflict of interest? 

The people of Iceland think so. 

April 5, 2016, 7:49 p.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.