Fri | Sep 21, 2018

'Panama Papers' spark more protests

Published:Sunday | April 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM
In this grab taken from APTN, anti-government demonstrators protest in front of Parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland, yesterday.

Thousands of Icelanders have rallied outside parliament in Reykjavik demanding the removal of the government following last week's resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson over his links to offshore investments.

The daily protests began Monday when opposition leaders introduced a no-confidence motion against Gunnlaugsson, who has since been replaced by the North Atlantic island nation's fisheries minister.

But the opposition is now pressing for a wider no-confidence motion against the entire government, saying two other ministers already have been linked to offshore investments at the centre of the global scandal.

Yesterday, protesters said Iceland could face an early election or a new coalition government led by the upstart Pirate Party.

"This government is finished," said protester Snorri Asmundsson, a 49-year-old artist, who is one of many candidates seeking to become Iceland's president in a June vote. "I give it maybe one week."

In the meantime in London, an estimated 2,000 protesters rallied outside a Conservative Party event to demand the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is under fire after belatedly admitting that he did invest in an offshore trust in The Bahamas run by his late father.

Protesters bore placards declaring 'Cameron must go!' while one hefted a pinata of a pink pig with a picture of Cameron on its head. Some vowed to camp indefinitely in Whitehall, the government district that includes Cameron's Downing Street residence.

One protester, a 25-year-old teacher from the northwestern city of Manchester, said he wanted to see Cameron crack down on tax loopholes for the rich - but doubted that he or any Conservative leader would.