Her Excellency Dr Anna Elisabeth Prinz has been Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Slovenia since July 2013. Since taking a post at the German Foreign Ministry, she worked in Sri Lanka, Romania, Jakarta and Japan. Before coming to Slovenia, she was the Commissioner for International Relations and Scientific Exchange at the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Passionate and active for her work and bringing people together, she likes the way of life in Ljubljana where she has found the services of Stoja Real Estate Agency to be helpful.
When was the first time you visited Ljubljana?
I was here prior to Germany and thereafter Slovenia holding the EU Presidency, which is when we started to cooperate. I liked Slovenia so much, I was welcomed warmly and so I think this is one of the reasons why I wanted to come back.
How do you find living in Slovenia and when was your first experience with the Stoja Real Estate Agency?
I like living here very much as, for me, this is the ideal mix of everything I like. When I first came here, I was looking for a nice place to stay and I wanted to be within walking distance to the centre, which is why I first came into contact with Stoja. Stoja was very helpful: they took me around, showing me the area and the options. Then I fell in love with one of the buildings which we bought a few months ago because it is ideal for my purpose, namely bringing together politicians, artists, business people and whoever is interested in promoting relations. I can do this very well in this residence.
There has been a long, ongoing cooperation with Stoja and so far they have offered us the right premises and also apartments for our staff. In addition, I appreciate that on many occasions, such as the Diplomatic Regatta and other important social events, Stoja are present.
At the beginning of the year the historical Vidmar Villa in Ljubljana was purchased as the residency for the German Ambassador. What was the role of Stoja in the purchase process?
It is very complicated for a state to purchase a house as it needs to be within the budgetary limits and procedures. When I saw the building and I knew the historic importance of the building, I thought that it was not wise to leave the building unoccupied because it had been empty for more than a year, it had to be protected and preserved to fulfil the function of strengthening our relationship by bringing people together. So I first rented it to check its condition; was it well constructed with nothing leaking? Therefore, I observed during the winter and then started the procedure to convince our ministry to buy it. As they usually prefer to rent, I was very lucky to have the support of the delegations visiting Ljubljana. Additionally, the villa was renovated very well; the previous owner had invested a lot of effort to maintain the building for a long period. So we trusted the quality and decided to buy it. In this respect, Stoja first assisted us with the rental agreement and then later with the purchase agreement. Both agreements went on smoothly.
Have you ever tried the Diplomatic Corporate Services (DCS) platform? Was it useful?
I’ve looked at it and what I saw is very useful indeed. However, it would also be useful to have more event information available on it. Because every embassy plans its own events and sometimes we have too many events in a short period, one following another and people cannot participate in all of them because they overlap. Therefore, I think an overview of all the events, where Stoja would contact every embassy, would be helpful. Because there are so many websites which advertise cultural events we do not need to duplicate those. But if we had, for example, the list of national days here or national cultural festivals planned by the embassies, then it would be very helpful. Also, the inclusion of the activities of the international business Chambers of Commerce and clubs in Slovenia, which diplomats usually attend, would be helpful.
Finally, can you describe Stoja in a few words?
Stoja is one of the biggest real estate agencies in Slovenia and therefore has a lot of expertise, very experienced staff and realistic offers, which makes them, of course, one of the most prominent contacts if you are looking for a building in Slovenia. I think that competition is always necessary to keep standards high and competitors might also have good offers, but so far, most of our real estate contacts were handled by Stoja. We have had a good experience with this agency.