By: Ruth Sharpe
VILA DO Bispo câmara is at the centre of a controversy after a 54-year old German man apparently threw himself off a cliff at Sagres Fort, allegedly due to a misunderstanding at the câmara about the licensing for his restaurant.
The marines recovered the body of Frank-Peter Marcischewski from the water on the morning of March 5 but he died soon after due to internal injuries.
Frank, who lived alone in the Algarve, was due to open his restaurant, Í, the following day after spending six years getting his business into a legal state for operation with business partner Horst Schütze, 51.
On March 5, Frank went to see Hans Muller, a friend who was one of the three members of staff contracted to work for the two businessmen. According to Hans, Frank was happy and excited at the prospect of finally completing his life ambition.
“He arrived at 9am, had breakfast and then left to go to the Finanças to pick up the license, contact a baker and make some final purchases,” said Hans who emphasised that Frank did not appear in any way depressed.
Frank also spoke with Daniela Elena, the wife of his partner Horst, by telephone when he was in the Finanças waiting to be served.
According to Daniela, Frank was of a good disposition and said he had just spoken with the baker. She heard the voice of an accountant telling Frank that the license would have to be picked up from the câmara.
Although no one knows exactly what happened at the câmara, officials have released a statement, saying that there was no paperwork with Frank’s name on, only of his colleague Horst.
It is believed that Frank, who spoke little Portuguese or English, left believing that he couldn’t open his restaurant the next day as he had hoped.
He then allegedly got in his car and drove to the Fort at Sagres. He paid the three euros entry fee before witnesses saw Frank fall off the cliff into the sea below.
He did not leave a letter, did not speak with anyone beforehand and 300 euros was found in his car proving he had not been to pick up the shopping for the opening party. The following night when the restaurant was due to open, his friends gathered to pay their respects and bring flowers. Friends believe that there was a lack of sensibility and interest from the attendant who served Frank.
Câmara president, Gilberto Viegas, has said that the license has been ready at the câmara since December 22, in the name of Horst and confirmed that the absence of Frank’s name on the document “would never have stopped the restaurant opening on the scheduled date”.
On March 8, Gilberto de Sousa, the president of the Associação dos Comerciantes da Região do Algarve (ACRAL) declared that there should be an inquiry into the events that preceded Frank-Peter Marcischewski’s death.
Although tragic, Frank’s actions have not come as a surprise to some residents of Vila do Bispo. One entrepreneur in the area told The Resident: “Vila do Bispo Câmara is notorious for its inefficiency and ability to create unnecessary problems for businesses in the region. I hope that Frank’s story will result in action being taken against the câmara to make them a more professional government body and more helpful towards residents personal and professional needs.”
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