President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson will be meeting with the leaders of all the governmental parties of Iceland today, in the wake of the Panama Papers crisis, reports Icelandic news website Vísir.
Grimsson was in the US on personal business, but flew back to Iceland earlier than scheduled this morning as a result of the ongoing governmental crisis.
According to the news website Vísir he calls the situation very “grave” and states that “the President needs to be present to do his duty.”
The office of the President of Iceland is not a political one, but Article 2 (24) of the Icelandic constitution apperantly states that the President has the authority to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections, and speculations has therefore been rife as whether President Grímsson will use this authority.
When Professor of Law at the University of Iceland Ragnhildur Helgadóttir was interviewed on the subject last night, at the Kastljós programme, she said that the President cannot call for dissolution of Parliament alone. For this to happen he would need to receive a proposal to that effect from the Prime Minister for the dissolution of Parliement which he would then accept.
The “Panama Papers” is a collection of millions of documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm showing how influential people have exploited tax havens. The list of those connected with offshore companies – with the alleged intention of hiding their assets – includes the Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and two cabinet ministers.
The Icelandic programme Kastljós revealed details of the “Panama Papers”‘ in a spesical edition, at the same time as media in over 80 other countries.
According to Vísir Financial Minister Bjarni Benediktsson also arrived to Iceland this morning, from a holiday in the US.