When faced with the euro crisis in 2012, President Mario Draghi adopted a defiant tone to sooth concerns with a promise to do "whatever it takes" and as a result bond yields narrowed considerably and market tensions evaporated. However, the unpredictable nature of upcoming general elections in some of Europe's leading economies present the ECB chief with a unique challenge.
"This time is really different on so many levels. It has never been the case since the ECB started that its most important elections take place at the same time. Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) is the first reactionary step to take in a crisis and it has already been mentioned as part of (the ECB's) toolkit though in practice it doesn't work… For some countries, it is just un-syncable (and) it is not a nuclear weapon that can solve such a crisis." Ducrozet added.
Draghi introduced the OMT program in September 2012 shortly after he had vowed the central bank would exercise whatever means necessary in order to save the euro zone from collapse. The program involves the ECB purchasing short-term sovereign debt from beleaguered euro zone economies in a theoretically limitless capacity to prevent market panic and fix a financial crisis. It remains the ECB's most controversial and "nuclear" policy.
In the meantime, Europe's central bank continues to support euro zone economies with its massive trillion-euro bond-buying program, albeit at a reduced rate of purchases from April. It could be argued the central bank's remarkably accommodative quantitative easing (QE) program already provides more than enough support for the bloc.
"The irony of the ECB's current QE program is that it hinders the (central bank) to easily tackle a political crisis and market turmoil. QE has paralyzed bond markets… In short, the ECB would have to replace QE with tailor-made OMT," Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany told CNBC via email.