After rival ousts him, Italy’s premier holds final cabinet meeting before resigning

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ROME – Outgoing Premier Enrico Letta was hosting his final cabinet meeting after his party voted him out of office in a stunning power play to put Florence’s dynamic young mayor at the helm of the Italian government.

Letta planned to tender his resignation Friday to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who after a few days of consultations is expected to ask the head of Letta’s Democratic Party, Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, to try to form a government.

The 39-year-old Renzi rallied his party’s executives Thursday to back him in an internal vote of no-confidence against Letta, accusing him of failing to lift Italy out of its economic and political doldrums.

The ouster came as statistics bureau Istat reported Friday that fourth-quarter GDP edged up 0.1 per cent, the first positive growth since mid-2011.

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