Public service announcementI was surprised to see the same error made by both the prestigious Washington Post and the excellent public radio show The World.
In this piece, The Post referred to Italy's prime minister Romano Prodi as the country's head of state. The World said that German chancellor Angela Merkel's video podcast is 'the first ever by a head of state'; the chancellor being the German term for their prime minister.
A political science lesson for any journalists who may be reading this. In a parliamentary system, the prime minister is by definition head of GOVERNMENT. In such a system, the head of state is either the president (in a republic) or the monarch.
I know Americans aren't great at international affairs but these two outlets usually lead the way in foreign coverage and should do better.