Mariano Rajoy, the outgoing Spanish prime minister, said last week that he was leaving Spain in a better place than when he took office seven years ago. This statement has obviously caused much comment and debate and obviously opinion is divided almost on political lines. When Rajoy took office, Spain was in the midst of a nightmare recession; people were losing their homes up and down the country, unemployment was at record levels and Spanish banks needed a bailout. It is true to say that Rajoy steadied the "Good Ship Spain" and put the country back on the path to economic growth. Having said that, the improving world economic situation also helped Spain pull clear of recession and tourism increased. But Rajoy can take some credit for taking Spain out of the economic mist and into the daylight.

However, he made two big mistakes. His Partido Popular had been hit by wide-ranging corruption allegations which had seen senior party figures going to jail, including our very own ex-Balearic president and former government minister Jaume Matas. I think that Rajoy should have been tougher on corruption and he should have made it his number one priority to rid the party of its bad apples. His second mistake was Catalonia. His bullyboy tactics with the independence movement may have won him some friends in Spain, but in Europe many leaders were concerned at what could be described as a democratic push for independence being halted almost by force. So, Rajoy made his mistakes but probably Spain is a better place than seven years ago. But how much credit can he take for it?


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osn / Hace over 3 years

He's been dreadful. If you take over when the economy is at it's lowest ebb, the only way is up. An empty chair would have achieved the same result. Lets not forget that one of the very first things he did in office was to effectively outlaw peaceful protest, and immunise the police against any type of scrutiny. Spain's unemployment rate is close to 17% with youth unemployment far higher. Wages are in stagnation, and have gone backwards over his time in charge. This is a scandal. Many of the brightest young people have left Spain in that time, these are the future wealth generators whose loss will be felt for decades to come. A conservative administration coming in at a time of financial crisis had the opportunity to sort out Spain's draconian labour laws, high cost of business and bloated public sector to drag it from the 20th century and set it up for the 21st. He did nothing.....oh and he was at the top of a very corrupt tree and lied in court. I won't miss him,... but the there is also little to cheer about the messy coalition that is replacing him.