António Costa was speaking to journalists at a news conference in Cidade da Praia, the capital of Cape Verde, after a meeting between the two countries' governments.

The prime minister said that EU officials want the government to meet reductions in the nominal and structural public sector deficit "not achieved in 2015", but pledged it to stick its election commitments and measures agreed with its partners in parliament the Left Bloc, Communist Party and Greens.

Asked about the state of talks with the European Commission on the budget, Costa noted that it was not possible to reduce the structural deficit in line with the target set be the previous right-of-centre government.

"The European institutions, naturally, intend that in 2016 there is a real reduction in the structural deficit that takes into account what was not achieved in 2015," he said. "So, we're talking about that."

However, he added, while "all budgets are necessarily about compromises, from such compromises none of the measures are broken that constituted an electoral commitment, or which resulted from the accords that we established with our partners to make the government viable."

Though this would be a "demanding and difficult" year where public finances are concerned, he said, the government would achieve its goals with sacrificing these commitments, which included "turning the page on austerity".