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Starting from scratch, an unemployed salesman leaves Spain with 250 euros for Germany

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, smokes a cigarette as he waits to catch a flight to Munich at El Prat airport in Barcelona, on June 29. A former salesman, Abel has been unemployed for more than two years. He has decided to leave his family and move to Germany to work in a Spanish restaurant.  His family hopes to join him if his wife can find a job. Abel arrived in Munich with 250 euros ($307) in his pocket.

Reuters reports -- Seville based photographer Marcelo del Pozo follows unemployed Jose Manuel Abel, 46, as he travels to Germany to try to start a new working life with only 250 euros ($307) in his pocket. Abel, who is from southern Spain, is one of a growing number of Spaniards moving to Germany for work after failing to find a job at home.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, embraces his daughter Claudia, 13, between his wife Oliva Santos, 45, and son Jose Manuel, 16, in Chipiona, Spain, on June 29.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, sits next to German language classmate Pilar Garcia, 40, in Chipiona, on June 28.

A former salesman during Spain's boom years, he has been unemployed for more than two years. Abel sees few prospects of working at home and has taken a job in Munich working in the kitchen of a Spanish restaurant owned by a Spanish-German friend of his. Abel sees no option to start earning again other than leaving his home country - even if it means living apart from his wife and two teenaged children.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, cries as he waits to catch a flight to Munich at El Prat airport in Barcelona, on June 29.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, walks in an underground station in Munich, on June 30.

Photographer Marcelo del Pozo, writes on the Reuters' Photographers Blog:

It’s five o’clock in the morning and I find myself in a place and situation that I’m sure I shouldn’t be in, much less taking pictures. Jose Manuel Abel, his wife Olive and their two children, Claudia, 13, and Jose Manuel, 16, were crying and hugging one another as they didn’t know when would be the next time they would see each other.

The family have already lost the home they bought in 1999 because they couldn’t keep up with the mortgage payments. Abel’s hopes of starting a new life in Germany are high: after all, his parents emigrated to Frankfurt at the start of the 1960s when he was two and they lived there until he was seven. History is repeating itself as Abel arrives in Munich with 250 euros in his pocket. One day he wants to find a job for his wife and take his family there.

Read the complete blog post.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, makes his bed in a hostel during his first day in Munich, on June 29.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, washes a paella pan while working as a kitchen assistant in Munich, on July 2.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Jose Manuel Abel, 46, signs a receipt for his salary as a kitchen assistant in Munich, on July 2.

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