After storming out of an interview where he was questioned about his ownership of an offshore company implicated in the Icelandic banking scandal, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has said he will not resign (he did apologize for doing a bad job on the interview).
Opposition parties are calling for snap elections, and plans for mass demonstration at the Icelandic Parliament are growing, with thousands signing up for the action via Facebook.
Iceland's banks and government were at the center of the financial crisis, and the country remains one of the only jurisdictions on earth to actually jail bankers for their role in the global fraud. The current government took office after a campaign of reform and transparency.
The Panama Papers reveal that Gunnlaugsson and his wife secretly owned offshore assets that had made claims on the assets of Iceland's collapsed, dirty banks, whose affairs Gunnlaugsson's own government is settling.
The Icelandic Pirate Party recently polled so well that they could have formed the government, if elections had been held right away. The Icelandic Pirates stand for sweeping democratic reforms and have previously intimated that they would grant asylum to Edward Snowden. A snap election in Iceland could have dramatic implications for world politics.
You can follow the international implications of the Panama Papers with the Google Trends page dedicated to the leak -- a recent datum from the service reveals that the three countries leading the world in searches related to the papers are Panama (unsurprisingly), Argentina, and Switzerland (where, doubtless, many a delicious milk-chocolate brick is being shit).
The organisers write on social media that “opinion polls have shown for over a year now that the government does not enjoy majority support in Iceland.”
The government is accused of forcing through wide-ranging changes to how Iceland’s natural resources are used and of conducting behind-the-scenes bank business.
The event description for the demonstration also alludes to “serious cases of corruption” to which numerous MPs and ministers are allegedly linked.
“The government has lost all trust and it is undemocratic for it to remain in place,” the organisers conclude. “The government should respect the basic rules of democracy and stand down at once. We therefore demand elections now!”
Anti-government demo planned for Monday
Iceland PM: “I will not resign” [Iceland Monitor]