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Iceland's PM walks out of interview over ''Panama Papers'

Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:47

Iceland's Prime Minister walks out of a TV interview over allegations that he and his wife had an offshore tax haven, as the massive data leak called the 'Panama Papers' sends governments scrambling to probe possible wrong doing by the rich and powerful. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Iceland's Prime Minister on the hot seat with Swedish public television, in an interview from March, broadcast over the weekend. In it, Sigmundur Gunnlaughsson answers questions about allegations he and his wife owned assets held in a secretive tax haven in Panama with large claims on Iceland's collapsed banks. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ICELAND'S PRIME MINISTER, SIGMUNDUR GUNNLAUGSSON SAYING (PLEASE NOTE SOUNDBITE STARTS OVER SHOT 3): "... when you are asking me about a company that has been on my tax return from the beginning." BERGMAN SAYING (English): "BUT IT MUST BE OKAY FOR ME AS A JOURNALIST TO ASK?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) ICELAND'S PRIME MINISTER SIGMUNDUR GUNNLAUGSSON SAYING: "Yes, but you are indicating that I have not paid taxes on it." BERGMAN SAYING (English): "NO. I'M JUST ASKING YOU QUESTIONS." The allegations come amid a huge data leak released Sunday in the so-called "Panama Papers." They go back four decades and have governments across the world investigating possible financial wrongdoing by the rich and powerful... ... including close associates of Russia's Vladimir Putin and Britain's David Cameron. Gunnlaughsson eventually walks out of the interview, telling reporters he was 'tricked' into coming. Iceland's opposition is calling on him and the government to resign, saying his Panama deal was a conflict of interest --- that's because Gunnlaughsson's government is involved in making deals with claimants on the bankrupt banks. Gunnlaughsson insists his wife's tax records are in order and that he will not resign. But pressure is mounting. Many Icelanders blame politicians for the country's 2008 bank failures, The Prime Minister is now fighting off opposition calls for a no confidence vote while facing increasing demands that he explain himself.

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Iceland's PM walks out of interview over ''Panama Papers'

Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:47