FRANKFURT — With a few choice words last week, the European Central Bank and its president, Mario Draghi, tamed bond markets and inspired a market rally. But the coming week may reveal whether the rescue plan for Spain and Italy was a turning point in the eurozone crisis or just a short-lived spell of relief.
On Wednesday, the work of the central bankers in Frankfurt could be undone in a stroke by judges in Karlsruhe. There, the German constitutional court could block the country from contributing to the European rescue fund on which the bank’s plan depends.
The mood could also be soured by voters in the Netherlands, if on that day they elect a government less committed to keeping the euro currency union together.
Or things could bog down in weeks ahead as political leaders in the eurozone take on thorny issues like how to better supervise the region’s banks.
The bank bought time Thursday when it pledged to buy government bonds in unlimited amounts to hold down borrowing costs for troubled countries. It is now up to governments to use the time to solve the underlying problems in the banking system and create conditions for growth.
‘‘It’s an important step,’’ said Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, a former member of the bank’s executive board. ‘‘But it requires other things to be done. Ultimately, the crisis will be solved when growth comes back and deficits are substantially reduced.’’
Most analysts do not expect the court to prevent Germany from contributing to the rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism. A group of German lawmakers and citizens have demanded a temporary injunction. But if the court kept Germany out, the consequences would be catastrophic.
The fund could not operate without German money and support, meaning it could not proceed with plans to rescue Spanish banks or work with the bank to contain market interest rates. The bank stipulated it would buy bonds only in tandem with the stability mechanism.
Voters in the Netherlands will choose a new government. No party is expected to win a majority, meaning there could be several months of uncertainty as political leaders form a coalition government.
‘‘The political parties and the electorate are split between those supporting austerity and those that do not,’’ analysts at Credit Suisse said. ‘‘We believe that a coalition of euro supportive parties is the most likely outcome, but it is a close call.’’
Eurozone political leaders will also be busy. On Wednesday, the European Commission is to present major elements of its plan for a so-called banking union. The commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has said it would propose shifting ultimate supervision of all banks to the European Central Bank. One lesson of the crisis has been that countries like Ireland and Spain were not equipped to regulate their banks effectively, pay for the bailouts that were needed or guarantee customer deposits in order to prevent bank runs.
Still, countries remain reluctant to relinquish control of their home institutions to Frankfurt. And there is widespread grumbling about the enormous power that the European Central Bank is acquiring, which will include the authority to issue and withdraw banking licenses and to wind down failed institutions.