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Italian premier's own party to vote on whether to yank support for fragile government

Florence Mayor and Italian center-left Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi drives away as he is chased by reporters following a meeting with Premier Enrico Letta at Chigi Palace government office, in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Letta battled Wednesday to stay in office amid a power play by supporters of the dynamic head of his party, Renzi, to replace him as premier in the latest chapter to convulse Italy's fragile political stability. Renzi arrived at Letta's office at Palazzo Chigi for a make-or-break meeting ahead of a Democratic Party summit on Thursday that is expected to determine the government's next steps. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Florence Mayor and Italian center-left Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi drives away as he is chased by reporters following a meeting with Premier Enrico Letta at Chigi Palace government office, in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Letta battled Wednesday to stay in office amid a power play by supporters of the dynamic head of his party, Renzi, to replace him as premier in the latest chapter to convulse Italy's fragile political stability. Renzi arrived at Letta's office at Palazzo Chigi for a make-or-break meeting ahead of a Democratic Party summit on Thursday that is expected to determine the government's next steps. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)  (The Associated Press)

Italian Premier Enrico Letta is facing a challenge from within his own party to keep his job.

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, who heads the Democratic Party, has called a meeting for later Thursday that will decide whether the center-left party will yank its support from Letta's fragile cross-party government. Renzi has challenged Letta's leadership, accusing him of lack of action.

Letta made a pitch to hold on to power Wednesday, highlighting signs of economic relief since he took power 10 months ago.

Letta was tapped to run a government of long-time bitter rivals after elections last year failed to come up with a clear winner. He has already survived a challenge by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who backed down from a vote of no-confidence at the last minute last fall.