A Transylvanian count and acquaintance of the Prince of Wales has said described attacks made on Romania during the horsemeat scandal as hypocritical and underscored by an anti-Romanian bias fuelled by immigration fears.
Count Tibor Kalnoky, Baron of Korospatek, who manages two rural properties owned by the Prince in Romania, vented frustration at the rapidity Western Europe pointing the finger of blame at Romania after it emerged that its abattoirs had supplied French companies some of the horsemeat that later masqueraded as beef.
"Isn't it just typical that when you have a scandal that involves the name of Romania everybody is going to point at Romania and say we are the culprits when in fact it is the ones who are doing the pointing who are the culprits," the count told The Daily Telegraph.
"The culprits are in France and in the West. They are the ones that ordered the horsemeat and knowingly mixed it in with their products" he added.
Neither of the two Romanian abattoirs that sold horsemeat westwards are under criminal investigation, and both have documents stating the sale and purchase of horsemeat by French companies.
Count Kalnoky explained that large parts of Romanian agriculture remain dominated by small-scale, subsistence farming far removed by the vast agro-food industry of Western Europe.
Attracted by this landscape unblemished by modern agriculture and boasting a sustainable rural life Prince Charles has bought two properties in Transylvania, and become a keen standard bearer for a the region and a country more famed for vampires than environmental sustainability.
Romania's image has suffered a battering from the horsemeat scandal and from mounting fears in the UK and other Western European countries that they will be inundated by Romanians when restrictions on access to labour markets expire next year.
Count Kalnoky said that migration fears mean that the "conjuncture now is against Romania" and that this has led to a desire to criticise the country at any given opportunity.
"It's very easy to write something nasty about Romania, and that's what they do," he said. "The horsemeat story broke about a fortnight after the scandal when the British government said it has to open its borders to Romanians, and that the country will be invaded. Since then they have been campaigning to discourage people to come.
"That was outrageous from our point of view. First of all because all the Romanians who would want to go have already gone." In early February a Romanian website angered by talk in Britain of hordes of Romanian migrants swamping the UK launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to encourage Britons to visit Romania, by claiming, among other aspects, "that half our women look like Kate; the other half look like her sister."