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The Globe and Mail

European shoppers won't give up Christmas toys

Despite escalating fears about the debt crisis, stagnant wages and austerity measures, parents say they're still buying gifts

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Rising prices, muted wage growth and the debt crisis have squeezed disposable incomes across Europe, but parents are still determined to buy Christmas toys for their children. Sonja Schneider, 34, who works as a pharmaceutical representative and has one child, looks at toys inside Hilpert toy shop in Vienna.

HEINZ-PETER BADER/REUTERS

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Shoppers gather outside Hamleys toy shop in London.

LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters

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Mother of three Jana Papulakova, 31, holds her toy purchases outside the Alltoys toy shop in Trencin, Slovakia, as her 2-year-old son Tobias sits on a ride. Ms. Papulakova plans to buy as much for her children this year as she did in 2010.

RADOVAN STOKLASA/REUTERS

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Toys fill a window display at the Serneels shop in Brussels. European retailers fear the debt crisis could affect consumer sentiment and hamper seasonal sales.

THIERRY ROGE/REUTERS

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Mortgage broker Nada Helikova, 28, and her husband Milos Helik, 29, who do not yet have children, look at a toy truck inside the Alltoys toy shop in Trencin, Slovakia.

RADOVAN STOKLASA/REUTERS

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Employed mother of three, Zoe Makri, 40, plays with her sons Marios, left, and Michalis inside the Come and See toy shop in the Athens suburb of Glyfada. Ms. Makri said she will do just enough Christmas shopping this year to cover her children's needs.

YIORGOS KARAHALIS/Reuters

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A woman and child take in the window display of the Come and See toy shop in the Athens suburb of Glyfada. Austerity measures in Greece and other European countries could dampen retail sales.

YIORGOS KARAHALIS/Reuters

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Nurse Jo Norris, 37, and her mother Jenny Casemore, 64, look at a toy display in Hamleys toy shop in London. Ms. Norris said the economic climate had not affected how much her Christmas budget this year, but said she did manage to spend less than her husband told her she could.

LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters

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