Greek Finance Minister says still in charge of euro zone debt talks - Zeit

BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a German newspaper interview on Wednesday that he was still responsible for debt talks with its euro zone partners and that both sides were a closer to a deal than many media believed.

"I set the tone. I'm still in charge of the negotiations with the Eurogroup," Varoufakis told the online edition of weekly Die Zeit.

He added that Athens still had to convince its partners that it was serious about reforms. "It's in our interests to reach a compromise as fast as possible. We are closer to that than many media believe," Varoufakis said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled his negotiating team on Monday, effectively downgrading Varoufakis to a less active role after he had infuriated his euro zone peers and failed to achieve progress in the talks in Riga. [ID:nL8N0XO21F]

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Madeline Chambers,)