Strong blue chips led the Athens bourse 2.53 percent higher yesterday with banks staging a 3.75-percent rally. Brokers said positive performances in European markets also helped fuel blue chip buying. Greece’s largest bank, National, outperformed, adding 5.65 percent to 21.30 euros while Alpha Bank rose 2.13 percent to 15.32 euros. «Gains of this magnitude were unexpected… A strong technical rebound helped by good markets abroad is behind today’s gains,» said an analyst. The bourse’s FTSE blue chip index gained 3.07 percent to 1,194.51 points and telecoms rose 2.34 percent. The Athens benchmark general index ended at 2,274.55 points. Mid-caps advanced 2.28 percent and small-caps added 2.20 percent. Turnover was 103.34 million euros on volume of 19.2 million shares. Winners beat losers 322 to 23 while 18 shares were unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters) Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas today is due at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry at noon for a briefing on the ongoing discussions on social security reform.