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Working Lives Athens

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Media captionWATCH: Shop assistant Maria Ignatiou says her family has had to fight hard for their business during the economic downturn

Maria Ignatiou is 24 years old. She studied theology and was hoping to become a teacher.

However in a heavily oversubscribed profession she's had to look elsewhere and she now works at a retail shop owned by her family in the centre of Athens. She has been working at the shop since she was a child, with her grandfather showing her the ropes.

They have two shops, one facing the other on opposite sides of the street. Her grandfather's shop is more old-fashioned and caters for more working-class people, specialising in oversize clothes. Maria's side, where she works with her uncle, is more modern and more expensive and they specialise in camping equipment.

Both shops stay open 365 days a year from eight in the morning until eight at night. She likes working at the shop, where she earns 870 euros ($700) a month.

During demonstrations they bought some tear gas masks in order to protect themselves. People started asking if they could buy them so they started selling them. During the riots it was their biggest-selling item.

They have a few left in the basement and if more riots break out they will stock up again.