Mario Draghi on Thursday faces perhaps his biggest political challenge since he become European Central Bank president in November.
Last week, a leaked letter from Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank president, highlighted rising anxiety at Germany’s central bank over the risks entailed in the ECB’s extraordinary actions to support the eurozone banking system, which have seen it inject more than €1trn in three-year liquidity in recent months.
How Mr Draghi responds to the confrontation at his press conference after Thursday’s governing council meeting could determine the extent to which his stewardship of the eurozone crisis is undermined by Bundesbank resistance.
The dispute could well dominate Thursday’s proceedings: with the ECB still waiting to see the impact of its liquidity measures on the real economy, no change is expected in interest rates. The suspense over Greece’s bail-out is unlikely to have cleared.