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The top world economic stories on Wednesday:
PARIS: The head of US tyremaker Titan sparked an uproar in France by mocking French workers for putting in only "three hours" a day and saying it would be "stupid" to invest in the country.
PARIS: French bank Credit Agricole said it posted a record 6.47 billion euro ($8.7 billion) loss for 2012 after booking a massive fourth quarter charge but was now "turning the page".
LONDON: Bank of England governor Mervyn King called for more quantitative easing stimulus cash earlier this month, minutes showed, pushing the pound to a near 16-month low against the euro.
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that a euro exchange rate of $1.30-$1.40 was "normal", in an unusual comment on foreign exchange markets.
MADRID: Spain cut its public deficit below seven percent of gross domestic product in 2012 and escaped financial "disaster", Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said.
ATHENS: Police in Athens fired tear gas at stone-throwing protestors as thousands of Greeks walked off the job to join the debt-ridden country's first general strike this year and oppose austerity measures.
MUMBAI: Asia's largest low-cost carrier AirAsia on Wednesday announced plans to invest in an airline joint venture with India's giant Tata conglomerate and another party.