Portugal has said it would exit its three-year €78 billion bailout this month without a precautionary credit line.

The country is returning to growth after years of painful austerity and unpopular reforms.

The cabinet decision was announced by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in a televised address to the nation.

It means the country will no longer have to answer to foreign creditors after the bailout ends on 17 May.

"The government has decided to exit the assistance programme without turning to any kind of precautionary programme," Mr Passos Coelho said, flanked by his entire government.

"This is the right decision," he said, adding that Portugal's European partners would back whatever decision the government took.

Portugal is the second eurozone country after Ireland to exit an assistance programme.  

"The European Commission takes note of this decision and, as previously stated, will support the Portuguese authorities and people in this sovereign choice," said Siim Kallas, vice-president of the European Commission, in a statement. 

Portugal was forced to seek the bailout from the European Union and IMF in 2011.