The reforms implemented by his government have put the Spanish economy firmly on the road to recovery, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said here Thursday in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Spain has taken on the lessons of the past" and will pursue the measures needed to foster economic growth and job creation, he said.

While crediting recent positive economic data to the reforms already in place, Rajoy stressed that much remains to be done, given continuing high unemployment in the Iberian nation.

"My political will is clear, and the political stability of my government, which enjoys a majority in both chambers (of parliament), is the guarantee that Spain will complete its ambitious reform plan," the conservative prime minister said.

Besides overhauls of the finance sector, labor laws and government administration, Rajoy pointed to his administration's efforts to crack down on tax fraud.

"If I knew about all the people who don't pay contributions (employer and employee levies for pensions and healthcare) and taxes, I would go after them," he said, noting that Spain trails all other European Union member-states in collection of value added tax.

Addressing his country's role in the world, Rajoy said that while Spain "was peripheral" during the Cold War, in the era of the Arab Spring and crisis in the Sahel, the Iberian nation is "in the vanguard." EFE