Italy is a beautiful country full of history and culture, but will no longer welcome refugees ("New Italy government vows to deport thousands of migrants who fled conflict", June 3).

Refugees seem to be everywhere, in Europe and beyond. They look different and speak differently from the local populations, although, if you get past this simplistic, inaccurate stereotyping, you will find a range of people just like you and me that are escaping from horrors that most people – fortunately – have no idea of.

Italy was wrong to refuse the shipload of refugees from Africa and to tweet it as a "victory", as Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of its new populist government did, because all people must be safe even if others are inconvenienced.

Spain showed a kinder heart and a stronger character, and acted to help the more than 600 unfortunate souls picked up by the migrant rescue ship Aquarius ("Spain offers to take migrant boat, spurned by Italy and Malta", June 12).

Demonstrators in Naples protest against the immigration policy of the new Italian government, on June 12. Photo: EPA-EFE

This is only one example of an issue that is going to be ongoing. However, Australia, where I live, also has a poor approach to refugees, at least at the political level.

Exposing the human cost of Australia's offshore detention centres

The solution lies not with where they are going but with why they are leaving their own countries. If there was peace and prosperity, then there would be few refugees.

Welcome the lost and work on making life better for all.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne