Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta made clear on Wednesday he had no intention of resigning and said that if the center-left leader Matteo Renzi wants to replace him he must state it openly.
(Read more: Italy's latest risk to stability: the 'Renzi Factor')
Letta spoke to reporters amid widespread speculation that Renzi, the leader of the Democratic Party (PD) that both men belong to, will push for the PD to withdraw its support from Letta at a leadership meeting Thursday.
"Anyone who wants to take my place must spell out their intentions," Letta said after an hour-long meeting with Renzi in which neither man was willing to back down, according to sources.
Letta said he was proud of his government's record and that he was motivated by a spirit of service to the country, not by personal ambition.