President "freezes" Renzi resignation

Renzi is driven to the Quirinal Palace

 ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi left Palazzo Chigi Monday after presiding over a cabinet meeting and went to the Quirinal Palace where he had another round of talks with President Sergio Mattarella following the premier's stunning defeat in Sunday's referendum, officials said. 

 Mattarella evidently decided to "freeze" Renzi's resignation till the end of the week so that the government can have its annual budget passed to prevent the country sliding into chaos before the head of state begins consultations to try and find a prime minister designate to try and form a new government.

 Renzi had been expected to hand in his resignation formally at the cabinet meeting but political sources said the Florentine politician will not formally throw in the towel until the very last cabinet meeting to be held once the budget law is passed by parliament.