Izgubljeni u tranziciji
Vareš: The awakening town
Known for its expanding industry and the exploitation of countless ores before the war, and following the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the municipality of Vareš mainly used to fill in the columns of the gloomy news and negative statistical data. Sudden news of the discovery of a rich gold ore and the diligent work of the Mayor will hopefully help this municipality restore the paths of its old glory.
When he became Mayor of the municipality of Vareš, Zdravko Marošević faced a budget deficit, huge debts, unsettled accounts and a chaotic situation. Thanks to him, the town is slowly but surely awakening today and the allocations of funds intended for sport, culture, youth associations and their activities have increased. Mayor Maroševič enjoys the respect of all of his citizens, saying the following about this bright example of the BH politics: "The best model is to choose capable, but not politically suitable people, no matter of which nationality they are. The color of the skin, national affiliation or religion is not important either, but what counts is the will of citizens”.
Lately, there has been an increase in the interest of foreign investors in investing in this town, and what the local government can offer to those investors is the following, according to the Mayor: "... quick and efficient administration, reduction in fees and costs. Problems arise when issuing certain permits by other governmental institutions”.
The bearers of youth activism and those wishing to leave a trail of their contribution to the community in which they live also include the young people from the Association "Initiative", who underline the wholehearted support by the Municipality, primarily in terms of funding. The fact that the non-governmental sector is very alive and stable is confirmed by some fifty stakeholders actively operating in its territory. “One of our goals is to connect with youth associations from abroad, and to launch a cultural exchange programme," says Lejla Ivazović, Secretary of the “Initiative”.
Another shiny example of the self-initiated organization is the “Visit Vareš” tourism platform which aims to strengthen the tourist potential of this municipality, ensure support to providers of tourist services and reinforce the tourist infrastructure. A website www.visitvares.com and the Tourist Info Centre were also set up, operating within the Municipality. Almir Čikmiš, one of the platform’s founders, when asked how satisfied he is with the utilization of tourist potentials at the town of Vareš, said the following: "Taking into consideration the potentials that Vareš has in almost all branches of tourism, we cannot talk about their sufficient exploitation. Nevertheless, we notice significant progress in enriching our offer. Vareš is now said to be the place of exceptional natural beauty, rich cultural and historical heritage. Also, the number of visits is growing, and this will, over time, hopefully increase the interest in investing in the development of tourism in this region, of both public and private sector”.
People from this organization say that the rural tourism is a promising branch of tourism that will enable people to sell their products literally "on their doorsteps". Thanks to this possibility, there are already several positive examples of successful rural households.
Bearing in mind that Vareš is a municipality of beautiful mountains, nature, excursion outlets, rich history and friendly hosts, it can be concluded that better days are coming to this mountain-mining town. Effective and successful work of an official, such as Marošević, and young people aware of the situation and its potentials, are real refreshment and a signpost for the success of this municipality.