"Europe already under pressure from its creditors;" headlines Les Echos. In the wake of an all too brief respite for the festive season, Portugal — which has yet to demand international assistance even though it is struggling to contend with serious budgetary difficulties — has been forced to raise the interest rate on its six-month bills by 80% over the rate offered on a previous issue in September 2010. Other European states are beginning the year with bond issues. As a result, Les Echos notes that "Europe’s political agenda will come under pressure from the markets." In response to the situation, French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde will meet with her German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble in Strasbourg to discuss measures for the macro-economic governance of Eurozone countries in the run-up to the Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings on 17 and 18 January.