Spain's economy has indeed staged a dramatic recovery from the financial crisis that hit in 2008. The spectacular crash of the country's housing market after a massive property boom led to large debt defaults and several of its major lenders needing to be bailed out or closed. De Guindos became economy minister as Spain grappled with the fallout from the burst property bubble and played a key role in negotiating the bailouts.
Like other euro zone countries that received bailouts, Spain has had to adhere to strict austerity measures, making Rajoy's government unpopular. Austerity may have started to bear fruit, however, with the Spanish economy recovering rapidly.
The latest gross domestic product (GDP) data released in November showed that, in the third quarter Spain's economic output grew by 0.8 percent, one of the fastest growth rates in the euro zone.
"It's relevant that the economic situation of Spain is totally different than it was four years ago. It's also not only the present economic situation, it's also the prospect. It's the outlook. Now we have reduced imbalances in the Spanish economy. I think that it's perfectly feasible to have the Spanish economy growing at a rate close to 3 percent over the next few years," De Guindos told CNBC Tuesday.
Rajoy and his party, which has been racked with corruption scandals, are banking on the economic recovery as a vote winner in the general election on December 20. Unemployment remains a problem, however, with 21.6 percent of adults out of work in October. The figures are even worse for young people aged 16-25 with 47.7 percent of them unemployed.