[Christiane] Amanpour: You know, many people, after hurricane Katrina struck the United States said, that it exposed the poverty and racism that exist in the United States. Many people in France said that ... around the world said it. Many people also said that the riots in the ghettos if you like... in the suburbs ...
De Villepin: I am not sure you can call them riots. It's very different from the situation you have known in 1992 in L.A. for example. You had at that time 54 people that died, and you had 2,000 people wounded. In France during the 2 weeks period of unrest, nobody died in France. So, I think you can't compare this social unrest with any kind of riots.
Amanpour: What do you call it then?
De Villepin: Social unrest, you have to understand also, there were no guns in the streets. No adults; mostly young people between 12 and 20 ... so it is very special movement.
(Via Loïc le Meur, who thinks de Villepin is simply responding to US media overkill. Some of his commenters disagree - one says France is reaping the results of its own over-hyped coverage of America's social problems. Could be...)
UPDATE: The French ambassador to the US has been pushing the same line as his PM.