Pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to act this week increased on Tuesday, as euro zone inflation fell once again in April, boosting concerns of all-out growth-sapping deflation.
In the third of our series looking at ECB President Mario Draghi's options to stimulate growth, we examine liquidity-boosting measures.
What is it?
Long-term refinancing operations (LTROs) are ultra-cheap, long-term loans offered by the ECB to the euro zone's lenders, in the hope that these banks, flush with fresh, cheap cash, will boost lending to businesses and consumers.
It would not be the first time the ECB has used this measure. At the height of the euro zone financial crisis in 2011, and during his first few months in the job, Draghi offered one set of three-year LTROs. He then backed this up with another set in February 2012. Banks borrowed more than 1 trillion euros ($1.36 trillion), and are now in the process of repaying the loans.