The burning cars and social fury exploding across France have transfixed the rest of Europe, where countries with sizable and growing immigrant populations are confronted by some of the same underlying tensions but are cautiously hopeful that the violence won't spread.

Along Jenner Street, a boulevard that cuts through North African immigrant neighborhoods in this northern Italian city, it is not hard to find people with complaints about the way the government and native Italians have treated them since they settled here in recent years. They say they are frustrated with the quality of health care and schools, a lack of jobs and a general sense that they are not welcome.

"The Italians are afraid," said Karim Abdul, a butcher at a shop that caters to Muslims. "They are afraid of kids who speak Arabic, who read the Koran. They want us to go to Italian schools and eat beef like them."

But Abdul, who acknowledged that he had been watching coverage of the French riots on television and felt sympathy for the rioters, said there was little chance of the same thing happening here.

His friend Kamel Karim, 26, a French citizen of Tunisian origin who moved to Italy five years ago, said immigrant communities here don't feel the same depth of despair and anger as the rioters in France. "We don't want war," he said. "We just want to live our lives, to live normally."

Police in Brussels and Berlin have reported about 15 torched cars this week and are investigating them as copycat crimes. But otherwise, there has been little evidence that violence is about to spill over the French border.

And while politicians and police chiefs in other European nations with substantial immigrant populations -- notably Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands -- say they have seen no visible signs of unrest, they acknowledge that the French riots have grabbed their attention and reminded them of what could happen if they don't do more to address problems at home.

"Spain traditionally copies France, with a six-month delay, for good and bad," said Lucia Figar, the immigration minister for Madrid's regional government. "Everything that happens in France is worrisome and calls our attention. It is a neighboring country with great influence on our society."

But Figar and other European lawmakers and analysts also pointed to evidence that the French riots were being fueled by conditions that were not mirrored elsewhere. While there is widespread dissatisfaction with the pace of integration and assimilation throughout Europe, they said, segregation, unemployment and social alienation seem much more pronounced in the suburbs around Paris and other French cities.

Ahmet Iyidirli, a prominent politician in Berlin's Turkish community, said he doubted there would be a similar outbreak of violence in the German capital, even though approximately one in five residents is a foreigner and the jobless rate is nearly 20 percent. He said Berlin had built a strong network of clubs and organizations that cater to immigrants and preach nonviolence.

That's not to say that Berlin and other cities don't have serious worries, Iyidirli said. "Unemployment is very high among immigrants and even higher among young immigrants," he said. "I cannot rule out that copycats might cause some trouble. For all of us, these events are a warning and we must act to address these problems."

Friedrich Heckmann, a professor of immigration studies at the University of Bamberg in Germany, said studies show that it is more difficult for second-generation French to move out of the slums or segregated neighborhoods and find jobs than for people of the same age and background in Britain and Germany.

France also has a long tradition of political protests turning violent; the young people are following in the footsteps of farmers, union members and others who are quick to take to the streets, he said.

"In France, they immediately block the roads and fight with police -- that's what people do," Heckmann said. "In that sense, there is some rationality when these young guys set cars on fire. They get attention, which is what they want."

Researcher Robert Thomason in Washington and special correspondents Jennifer Green in Madrid and Shannon Smiley in Berlin contributed to this report.