VALLETTA, April 7 (Reuters) – Bad loans at some European Union banks pose a problem to the whole bloc but solutions are to be found mostly at national level, the vice president of the EU Commission said on Friday.

EU banks are saddled with more than 1 trillion euros ($1 trillion) worth of so-called non-performing loans (NPLs) that they have been accumulating since the 2008 global financial crisis, as firms and households struggled to pay their debts.

While the problem is more acute in countries such as Greece and Italy, which have experienced a prolonged economic crisis, it has a European dimension because spill-overs are possible, Valdis Dombrovskis told a news conference after a regular meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Valletta, Malta.

But he also stressed that the solution to the problem is “primarily” a national responsibility for the countries with the highest ratio of bad loans.

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