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?